Mobile Devices in Education


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My presenation Mobile Devices in Education made on June 25th and June 26th at the 20th Model Schools Conference in Orlando, Florida. If you would like to download this presentation for your school's staff development or for other P-12 education purposes please email me and I will send you a hard copy.


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Mobile Devices in Education

  1. 1. Amy Leigh Johnson Model Schools ConferenceCooper Middle School Orlando, FloridaAustell, Georgia June 24-27th
  2. 2. Introductions• Amy Leigh Johnson – Art Teacher – 7 years experience – M.A.T. Art Education – Studying for Specialist degree in Inclusive Education – Online at• Cooper Middle School in Austell, GA – Title I Middle School – 817 students – 66% free/reduced meals – 5.2% Absent over 15 days – 93.8% Meet/exceeds expectations for reading – 85% minority – 12.4% with disabilities – 3.4% English language learners – AYP Met in 2009, 2010, 2011 – Online at
  3. 3. Overview• Cell Phone Incidence• Teen Cell Phone Incidence• Teen Usage• Merits & Disadvantages• Expectations• Functions & Apps• Questions
  4. 4. Cell Phone Incidence 85% of the world’s population owns a cell phone 23.8% of cell phone users are under the age of 18Grahpic and data from: and
  5. 5. Adult Group Incidence
  6. 6. Adult UsageGraphic from
  7. 7. Evolution of Internet Access • Mobile web access is projected to replace wired internet access between 2015-2020 Seem unbelievable? How many of you still have or use a landline as your primary phone?Data from: graphic from:
  8. 8. What is the Allure? We want our computers, books, and entertainment to be in our pockets.Image from:
  9. 9. Allure for Teens? Digital Immigrants – Persons over the age of 20 who were not born into a world of inherent cell phone use. Digital Natives – Persons under the age of 20 who were born into a world of inherent cell phone use. Teens, as digital natives, want their computers, books, and entertainment in their pockets. . .And SO MUCH MORE.Prensky, 2009
  10. 10. Teen Incidence - Some 75% of American teens ages 12-17 have a cell phone. - In 2004, just 18% of 12 year olds had a cell phone of their own. - In the same 2004 survey, 64% of 17 year olds had a phone.Data and graphics from:
  11. 11. Data and graphic from
  12. 12. Teens & Social Media12-17 Year olds by the numbers• 93% of go online daily• 77% of go online at school• 65% use a social networking site• 38% of 12-14 year olds have an online profile• 77% of 15-17 year olds have an online profileLenhart, 2009Image from
  13. 13. Teens & Social Media The candidates for the 2034 presidential election are online now. What will their digital footprint look like? How will digital media impact them?Image from
  14. 14. Teens Want Digital Access to Education • 63% of students grades 6-12 want online and mobile access to textbooks that allow them to communicate with classmates worldwideData from: project tomorrow graphic from:
  15. 15. Teens Want Digital Access to Education• One third of middle and high school students want their schools to provide tools to electronically communicate with their teachers.Data from: project tomorrow
  16. 16. Cell Phones and School At schools that ban mobile devices, 63% of students use them anyway.Data on banning mobile devices:
  17. 17. Why Is This Data Critical? “The most ubiquitous technology in children’s lives are mobile devices.” -Elliot SolowaySchuler, 2009Image from
  18. 18. Why Is This Data Critical? Our students, the digital natives, are going to use their cell phones at school anyway. It is an intrinsic part of their socialization.
  19. 19. Why Is This Data Critical? 75% percent of our students have a powerful educational tool in their pockets, and we are banning it. We are missing the opportunity to teach our students how to utilize cell phones for educational and practical functioning purposes.Graphic from
  20. 20. But Are They Worth It? “For every student who uses 140 characters to send messages of empowerment there is another who is tweeting inappropriate photos.”Barseghian, 2012
  21. 21. Concerns for the ClassroomCommon arguments against the inclusion of cellphones in the classroom:• Student will use them to cheat• Students will access inappropriate information• Students will engage in sexting• Students will use them to bully/harass• Usage distracts from the learning environment• It is hard to monitor individual student usage• Not all students have phones
  22. 22. Cheating? 35% of students with cell phones admit to cheating at least once with themGraphics and data:
  23. 23. Sexting & Harassment? • One in three online teens have experienced online harassment. • Girls are more likely to be victims. • Most teens say that they are more likely to be bullied offline than online.Data and graphics from
  24. 24. Not All Have Phones? • 25% of teens aged 12-17 do not have cell phones • Studies show that cell phones can positively impact all learners in a class even if only 40% of the students have cell phonesPrensky, 2009“Clueless” image from
  25. 25. Merits for the ClassroomArguments for the inclusion of cell phones in theclassroom:• Changes the dynamic of a classroom• Use to replace missing and/or inadequate supplies• Promote anytime, anywhere, anyhow learning• Connect to learning environments world-wide• Reach underserved students• Improve student, teacher, parent, administrator interactions• Provides personalized learning experience
  26. 26. Dynamic and Supply • Instead of banning phones, you can create approved times for usage • When you are short of supplies, you can use phones to replace – Timers – Internet searches – Calculators – Recording sounds – Record presentations – Etc.Image from
  27. 27. Anytime, Anywhere, An yhow Learning• Text students and parents about homework, tests, extra information, and quizzes• Tweet about homework, tests, extra information, and quizzes• Platforms for online classes where students can interact on computers and via mobile devices• Private, online message boards for your class• Utilize social networking for projects and sharing of student work
  28. 28. Reach Underserved Students• Students can access and participate in your classroom during school, after school, and from anywhere – Provide means for students who miss school to participate in class daily – Provide means for students with special needs to revisit classroom discussions for review – Provide means for students to participate in discussions who might not otherwise
  29. 29. Interactions and ExperienceA high school principal inIllinois gave out his cell phonenumber to the 2,500 studentsin the school population – He charted the number and type of texts he received daily – Within 1 month he had to upgrade his plan – Most texts actively engaged him conversation – Students saw him as a positive role model, someone who cared, and someone who protected their interests.Raths 2012Image from
  30. 30. What Do Teens Say? “My cell phone has better internet access than our school’s computers. I demand my teachers incorporate the use of cell phones by finding innovative ways to use them for educational purposes.” “There is no time limit on Facebook. Learning stops when the class ends. Teachers need to create an ongoing dialogue with students.” “We’re going to use technology to start a revolution to improve our lives, and the lives of upcoming generations, to get our voices heard.”Barseghian, 2012Image from
  31. 31. Setting Expectations • Students, as teens, will obviously use their phone inappropriately • It is for the teacher to set expectations and consequences for successful classroom cell phone usage.Image from
  32. 32. Setting Expectations • We use scissors, a recognized, dangerous, tool every day in the classroom. But, students could: – Stab one another – Cut other’s being and/or personal property – Steal them – Carve school and/or personal property • Yet, students use scissors correctly due to consistent behavior management • Classroom cell phone usage is much the sameNielsen, 2010
  33. 33. Setting Expectations• Poll your students to discover who has – A cell phone – A smart phone – Unlimited texting and/or access to free text service – Mobile device wifi access (ie non-phone)• Classroom contract for students and parents – Both must sign – Outline usage, rules, and expectations – Parental safety guidelines overrule your guidelines – Parents may opt their student out of classroom usage – Assessment is not based on cell phone usage
  34. 34. Classroom Contract
  35. 35. Setting Expectations: CheatingPrevention Strategies – Collect phones before assessments – Circulate more during assessments – Have students place their phone on the corner of their desk during assessments – Create assignments that make for the inclusion of cell phones – Create assessments wherein students must use cell phones (provide computer access for non-phone students) – Out-smart your students!Image from
  36. 36. Usage in School • Google SMS • Cha Cha Answers • Twitter • Social Networking • Survey Monkey • Poll Everywhere • Wiffiti • Dropbox • Remind101 • QR codes • Smart Phone Apps (Android & Apple markets)Image from
  37. 37. SMS/MMS Texting • Short Message Service (SMS) is a text message service that allows mobile devices to send short text messages. 74% of all mobile subscribers have SMS. • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is a messaging service for multimedia content including photos, articles, videos, text pages, and ringtones.Data from and
  38. 38. Free Texting• Students can text even when they have wifi-access only mobile technology (like an iTouch/iPod, Playstation Vita, Nook, Kindle, tablets, laptops, and netbooks etc.) and/or don’t have unlimited texting – TextFree App for Apple users (free) – Pinger TextFree App for Android Market (free) – Pinger TextFree App for computers/tablets/netbooks (free)• In order for the above to work, students must have access to free wifi• Suggested that students download the app prior to use in class and/or devote time in class to downloading the app
  39. 39. Google SMS & Cha Cha Answers• Text any question to Google SMS (46645) and receive an answer• Text any question to Cha Cha Answers (242242) and receive an answer.Image from
  40. 40. Twitter • Create a twitter account for your teacher persona (use your school email for ease) • Share username with students • Tweet about – Important classroom events – Links to relevant information – Homework – Study guide help – Extra credit informationImage from:
  41. 41. Social Networking• Facebook – Web-based; free – Many educators/schools do utilize – Safety and confidentiality concerns – You’re a mandatory reporter; this expands your classroom• Edmodo – Web-based; free – Education-based social networking – Facebook-like interface – District licensing – Extremely high confidentiality – Can share login codes with parents for parental viewing• GoSoapBox – Web-based; $7.50-$15.00/mo – Similar to Edmodo – Students can interact via internet and text
  42. 42. Edmodo• Free app available for download on Android and Apple• Use from any device with access to the internet
  43. 43. GoSoapBox• Concept similar to Edmodo• Set up online classes/groups/events• Big difference is that students can interact via internet and text
  44. 44. Survey Monkey• Easy, free, class-wide assessment tool; no irespond tools needed!• No email/username/login needed• Students can respond using a URL either on a computer or on a mobile device
  45. 45. Poll Everywhere• Offers instant audience feedback• Offers a texting number for ease• No email/login/sign-up• Multiple choice and open-ended queries• Can be shared/embedded automatically via – Twitter – blogs – Facebook – Prezi• Great for – Warm Ups – Quick assessments – Class votes
  46. 46. Poll Everywhere• Try it out! – As a url: – Texting (below)
  47. 47. Wiffiti• Think of it as a digital graffiti wall• Users can text information to the wall for group sharing• Set filters to avoid crude language• No email/signup needed• Randomly assigns usernames based on animals/colors• Could text to it; now must use url• Reverted back to “Beta” mode and expected to roll-out a better version Fall 2012• Excellent for – Class discussions – Expanding discussion past the school environment – Absent students – A way to review the previous day’s discussion
  48. 48. Wiffiti
  49. 49. DropBox• Web-based file hosting service• Can access your documents anywhere• Can share documents with anyone• Students can access shared files online via a computer or a mobile device• Great way to share study guides, homework, worksheets, research, PPTs , etc. etc.
  50. 50. DropBox
  51. 51. Remind101• Texting platform enables texting to a whole class of students• Assign student/parent numbers to a whole group/class and text the whole class at the same time• Sets you up with a “dummy” number that allows participants to respond, but without your phone number• You can view responses online; not on the device (saves on data fees)
  52. 52. Remind101
  53. 53. QR Codes • Quick Response Code – a type of matrix barcode. It was originally designed for the automotive industry, but is now popular everywhere due to easy readability • You “read” a QR code with a scanner app on a smartphone or similar device • Used in – Magazines – Promotional information – Anywhere you want share links – Your classroom?Graphic from
  54. 54. QR Codes in the Classroom– Put a QR code on a worksheet to provide students immediate access to a literature, research, news articles, and/or videos– Put a QR for your class wiki, website, or blog on all home correspondence– Have students place QR codes on their work to share online writing assignments, web- generated uploaded work, and/or other online
  55. 55. Generating QR CodesKaywa QR Code Generator – No email/signup needed – Straight-forward – Quick and easy (basic)Qropit – No email/signup needed – Generate media with QR codes – Fun and engaging
  56. 56. Mobile Apps forReasons for use Education – Offer streamlined access to data – Can manipulate, generate and/or request data in instant-manner – Typically highly-integrative with curriculum and standards – Most obvious manner in which to help students perceive the power in their pocket – Open up in-class tech for students with limited tech at homeReasons for concern – Need a smart phone for usage – Not all are free – Even free downloads cost the consumer user data – Timely to download in class – May not be utilized enough to merit the download and/or time used to teach the interfaceSolutions – Curate a class set of smart devices that can connect to wifi (one set for the whole school) – Provide links in a dropbox account for students to download the app instantly (no searching) – Use only free apps and/or investigate your institution funding highly useful apps – Decide which apps are most useful to your class and use those primarily (save time on interface)
  57. 57. Mobile Apps for EducationBest Apps (Android) Best Apps (Apple) – Edmodo – Edmodo – Celeste astronomy – Frog Dissection – Algebra Tutor – Grammar Up – CueBrain language arts – History: Maps of the World – Trippo Mondo translator – Monster Anatomy – Sight Read Music Quiz – Motion Math – Flash Card Maker Pro – Professor Garfield – Chemical Equation Cyberbullying Balancer Pro – Proloquo2go auditory aid – Socrative Student Clicker – The Elements: A Visual Exploration
  58. 58. Questions?Graphic from
  59. 59. ReferencesAker, J. C. (2008). Does digital divide or provide? the impact of cell phones on grain markets in Niger. (Doctoral dissertation, Tufts University), Available from Social Science Research Network. Retrieved from, T. (2012, March 6). [Web log message]. Retrieved from demand-the-right-to-use-technology-in-schools/Ferriter, W. M. (2010). Cell phones as teaching tools. Educational Leadership, 65(2), 85-86. Retrieved from, M. (2008). Supporting cell phone use in the classroom. Florida Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Fall, 29-32. Retrieved from, M. R. (2011). Social media in education: how to use social software and web 2.0 tools in for teaching. In SWITCH. Retrieved from, S. (2012, April 2012). [Web log message]. Retrieved from, M. A. (2010, February 03). Some schools rethink ban on cell phones. Retrieved from bans-cell- phones/Katz, J. E. (2005). Mobile phones in educational settings. Pp. 305-19 in Kristof Nyiri (ed.) A Sense of Place. Vienna: Passagen Verlag. Retrieved from:, O. (2008, August 28). Cell phones make headway in education. Business Wekk, Retrieved from
  60. 60. ReferencesKoebler, J. (2011, October 26). [Web log message]. Retrieved from school-notes/2011/10/26/teachers-use-cell-phones-in-the-classroomLenhart, A. (2009, April). Teens and social media: an overview. Pew Internet & American Life Project New York department of health & mental hygiene, New York. Retrieved from Social Media and Health - NYPH Dept Pew Internet.pdfNielsen, L. (2008, May 12). [Web log message]. Retrieved from, M. 2005. What can you learn from a cell phone? Almost anything!. Innovate 1 (5). Retrieved from:, D. (2012). Lift the cell phone ban. Scholastic Administr@tor Magazine, Retrieved from, D. (2012). Revisiting cell phone bans in schools. The Journal: Transforming Technology Through Education, March(28), Retrieved from, J. H., & Hagevik, R. A. (2008). Cell phones for education. Meridian Middle School Computer Technologies Journal, 11(2), Retrieved from, C. (2009). Pockets of potential: Using mobile technologies to promote children’s learning. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Retrieved from:
  61. 61. InquiriesFor inquiries about this presentation please contact: Amy Leigh Johnson