Miscellaneous

Published on July 6th, 2017 | by Guest

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5 Reasons I Let My Students Use Smartphones in Class

Being an educator has always been my passion. I have worked with preschoolers, adult learners, and many other audiences that had so many different requests and learning styles, so my teaching experience was as good as it gets. My secret was that I tried to make learning fun for each person in the class, so everyone could be able to connect the interests and studying.

When I finally decided to settle down in my hometown, I took a job as a high school teacher to continue to share my knowledge with kids who are about to enter an adult life and make an important choice of college. As always, I thought that my new job will be easy because I had all that experience but this wasn’t the case.

Let me start from the beginning. I am not a tech-savvy person because I do not keep up with the latest technologies, apps, smartphones, you name it. It’s not that I have a negative attitude towards using technology because I have used computers in my classes before and they were great for developing creative skills in learners.

There is a whole another story with smartphones because I have always dodged students whose heads were turned down to glowing screens. Even though these devices are smart, it’s been a constant struggle to keep learners engaged in lessons.

When I looked at my new class during the first lesson, I realized that this problem is going to be a trouble one more time because there were ear buds and headphones everywhere. After my effort to trump the allure of the smartphone failed, I spent a couple of days wondering what could be done and made a decision that I would never believe I would make.

I let my students use smartphones during classes.

Surprised? Let me explain my reasons.

1. They help me to communicate with my students whenever I want, wherever I go

Until I created a Facebook group for my class and started to use social media to educate the students, I had no idea that I would ever do so. I found a recent Stanford study that supported the benefits of incorporating smartphones and other devices in the classroom and started to read it. Then, I read an opinion article of an educator who defended the use of closed Facebook groups for creating a sense of community in the class.

Now, I can communicate with my students, inform them about upcoming events, lessons, assignments, as I wish and it is awesome opportunity to have.

2. They help me to share materials with the class

The Internet is not just about communicating using text, it can be a useful thing when it comes sharing files. I interpreted this as an excellent chance to upload and share the files that contain instructions for assignments, grading rubric, materials for classes such as textbooks and presentations, and web pages. As the result, I improved and increased the effectiveness and speed of the material distribution in my classes.

Now, I use the phrase “There is a new file I uploaded in the files in our group” very often and I am glad I can distribute the materials and suggest readings so easily.

3. They help me to receive assignments

Not only I share the files with the students but receive the assignments from them. If for some reason one of my students cannot bring the essay or research paper is the class, he or she can send it to me via Facebook. This way, I give the students another opportunity to make the deadline when they had some emergencies or run into some problems that prevented them from bringing the works in the class.

In some cases, I instruct all students to submit electronic versions of assignments so I could review and grade them using my computer at home. Very convenient.

4. They help me to build a true community

Smartphones are used by the youth every day. I always try to spark an interesting discussion or address the needs of the students in the group using my own smartphone. This way, I encourage more and more students from my class to engage in the conversation, share their ideas, thoughts, and opinions, and eventually develop good relationships with me and each other.

As the result, I am building a small but strong community, day by day.

5. They help me to connect students with other educational institutions

Every educational institution in the U.S. is present online. I and my students are regularly checking their requirements to know what is awaiting them after they graduate high school. As the result, we know what needs to be done to be accepted by a college or other institution of interest.

I never thought that I would say that I will use social media and smartphones in my class, let alone smartphones, but I certainly do now. Need some pointers on incorporating Facebook in yours? Read this Online College article to know more.

 

About the author:

Diana Clark is a high-school educator with 5 years successful work experience in digital and blended learning, modeling effective professional learning and enhancing teacher leadership. She covers different topics concerning, educational technology and innovative practices in teaching. Diana also provides assignment help at college-paper.org. Follow Diana on Twitter

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