Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Collaborating with Mobile Phones

I was given an article, called "44 Smart Ways to Use Smartphones in Class" that discussed some ideas that I've come across before, but also some simple, yet innovative ideas. But out of all of them, one definitely stuck out to me on collaborating through mobile phones, both smart and (un)smart phones (I'm not sure what to call them!)

The article is called "Calling All Resources: Fostering the Right Time to Write" and explains how John Hardison, an ELA teacher in Georgia, facilitates his students using their phones and other devices to peer edit their writing through various forms. To sum it up, Hardison explains how he uses a traffic signal to cue students when to use their devices and allows students to use whatever means they prefer to write and edit their peers' work. His students choose to have soft lighting with classical music playing in the background to create the "ultimate writing atmosphere," as he puts it. But what stuck out the most was his perspective on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and allowing students to choose their method of writing, including paper and pencil. He states that "I want students to absolutely fall in love with their writing by any appropriate means of composition available. The end result is most important, not how they arrived." I think that this statement is vital for us to remember, because it is so easy to get caught up in all of the "21st Century Tools" and loose sight of the real goal.

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