Monday, July 23, 2012

Mobile Devices OK in Class?

Yes, I think mobile devices are ok in class IF they don't become a distraction.

I created a video last year to show my class that I mean business when it comes to texting in my class.  I wanted to convey this message in a fun/funny but clear way.  Feel free to use this video in your class if you like it.  Contact me if you would like a better quality version of it.  I think Blogger decreases the quality.

How can mobile devices be used in class without being a distraction?

They have to be part of the attraction! At Twitter Math Camp 2012, @colinmac10 demonstrated Socrative and how he uses it in his classes.

Socrative is a feature rich tool that enables teachers to interact with their students in a way that allows use of mobile devices in a positive way.   Colin sets up the interface so students can reply to questions presented through the web with their devices.   There are some cool built in templates that make the interactions more fun, like the rocket races.  Oh! you can even have the results emailed to you in a report that you can use for review of the activity (this is one of the best parts)

I use Poll Everywhere in my classes.  This tool is similar to Socrative but has less features. Most of these tools don't allow you to be very "mathy" in the questions you write using the interface.  Roots, exponents, graphs etc... are all usually impossible to convey clearly unless you use calculator entries (x^2 = "x squared").  I usually write a question on the whiteboard or hand out a printed question and use the interface to field the answers.

This is what the students see (using Poll Everywhere)

The interface is also easy to use.  I have a page set up on my class blog that has the Poll Everywhere page pre-loaded with my page. 

Socrative vs. Poll Everywhere?  Well Colin sold me on Socrative.  Now I just need to go and investigate a bit more and set it up.  Thanks Colin!

If you have any experience with either of these tools or something else even better, please share.  :-)

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