They Said It: SMARTPHONES GO TO SCHOOL
1/31/2012 By: Harry Grover Tuttle
1 The students know how to use these technologies. They use them daily. They text, take and send pictures,
take videos/movies and send them, and they access the Web. Teachers do not have to spend class time
teaching students the new technologies. Even when teachers “teach” a new program, such as Yodio, the
students already know how to take pictures, upload them, record their voice, and send voice files.
2 The students always have these mobile learning devices with them. They may forget their notebook.
They may leave their textbook home. They may be without a pen. However, they will have their cell
phone or smartphone with them.
3 The students can use their own mobile learning devices. Other than for a few
disadvantaged students, the school does not have to provide the device. However,
the school does need to provide access to its wireless network.
4 With QR codes, students can be a click away from learning resources. Students
do not have to turn on a computer, log in, and then type in a Web address. The
students instantly go from scanning in the QR code to clicking on the link(s).
5 Students can easily be producers of information. They can take pictures to
document environmental concerns in their community and make those into a
multimedia story such as with Yodio. They can audio record the interviews of various
people as they talk about the importance of math in their careers. The students can
make a movie about the various healthy habits
of their family and friends for their physical
education course. They have these tools on
their phones and they know how to use the
6 Due to the richness of Web resources,
teachers can move students to higherlevel
thinking. For example, students can
easily contrast two images of the same incident
for an English class. They can evaluate the bias
in reporting by reading the same news story
from different sources for a social studies class.
7 Students can be global in their learning.
They can text a science survey about using
paper in school to students in other states and
other countries. Elementary students can text
math word problems that come from students in
other countries. For example, a school in Costa
Rica might offer this problem: “If you are really
hungry and you buy a “casado” (rice and meat
dish) for 2,500 colones
and a fruit drink for 400
colones, how much do you
spend? How much is that
in US dollars?
Harry Grover Tuttle
teaches English and
Spanish courses at
College. He is also the
author of several books on