Saturday, 8 June 2013

Tech Task 7: Mobiles For Learning

Nearly every students now has a cellphone and many of them are using them in the classroom (even when they are not supposed to be). According to a 2008 Stats Canada report  "Nearly three-quarters (74.3%) of Canadian households indicated they had a cellphones in 2008, up from (72.4%) in 2007." And I can only imagine that this number has continued to increase since 2008. So why not use this technology in a constructive way in the classroom? This is exactly what Liz Kolb suggests that we do!

For this Tech Task about mobile learning I decided to browse through Liz Kolb's blog From Toy to Tool: Cell Phones in Learning. There were so many great tools and ideas on how to use cell phones in the classroom that I sat and read through the many different posts on her blog for nearly an hour and still couldn't decide which technology intrigued me most as I found everything I read to be fascinating!

Eventually I clicked on the Resources tab at the top of her blog. This helped me to narrow down which tool that I wanted to choose to write about for my own blog as I found a list of all of the different tools and resources organized by their different functions on this page. I immediately bookmarked this page on my computer as I know I will be visiting it frequently in the future to gain new ideas and resources to integrate cell phones into my classroom.

After exploring many of these resource I finally decided that I would like to choose a resource called ExitTicket to write about and explore in greater detail. ExitTicket is an interactive student response system where students can answer questions and quizes on their cellphones, iPods, iPads, and computers. The program also collects and organizes the data so that you are able to see what all of your students are thinking and if they are understanding the desired concepts.

Here is a short video that can be found on the ExitTicket website that does a better job of explaining it that I  can.

I think that ExitTicket is a great tool for formative assessment as it allows you too see exactly where every student it at and who needs more help with a certain concept. It could be used as an exit slip at the end of class, a short quiz, or even a homework assignment.

The only issue I have with ExitTicket is student access to technology. While most students have a smart phone or an iPod or iPad, there will still be students who do not have this technology. One solution to this problem is that ExitTicket can also be accessed from a computer or laptop. But the problem that I have with this is if you are in the middle of class and just want to do a short survey on ExitTicket and if two or three of your students do not have the technology, is it worth it to bring in laptops or drag your students to a computer lab?

I guess the success that you would have using ExitTicket in your classroom would depend on the group of students that you have and the access to the different technologies needed to use this tool.

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