Pair Activities with Mobile Devices

Pair Activities with Mobile Devices

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Our learners love their mobile devices. However, many of our learners rarely use their mobile devices to communicate with others face-to-face or develop relationships with their peers. We can guide our learners to communicate and collaborate effectively with their mobile devices by pairing or grouping them to problem-solve and create. In my digital book, Learning to Go, you’ll find rubrics, handouts, and lesson plans for the activities listed below. Check out my slide presentation (download for free) and the bookmarks below for pair work activities with mobile devices. You will soon see how these icebreakers and activities will help transform your classroom into a thriving community of excited learners supporting each other. Check out the bookmarks to discover apps and resources to get your students partnering up with their devices.

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Pair Activities With the iPad from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

  • Mingle with devices- Just like square dancing, your students can work with a partner for 30 seconds to 2 minutes to demonstrate their favorite apps, get to know each other, play a game, or problem solve.
  • Draw your favorite- Try a drawing app (click here for a list). Students draw their favorite ice cream, cartoon character, animal, etc. then show a partner the drawing. The partners guess what the drawing represents and they share information with each other. In Learning to Go, use the Knowledge Swap handout with this activity.
  • Draw your monster- Students use their imagination to draw an alien or monster. Students do not reveal their drawings. Instead, students describe their monsters to their partners who draw by listening. Then both compare the drawings. Check out these Educreation monster drawings by elementary students.
  • Students can Think, Pair, Share with devices. Students work in pairs to create a mind map maker about a topic. Try the Popplet app. Students share their mind maps with another set of peers. Each pair adds the new information they learned from each other and add to their mind maps.
  • Student can jigsaw with QR codes. In Learning to Go, I provide a template and example activity where one student has a joke and the other has the answer. The students try to find the partner with the answer to the question they scanned.
  • Have students use apps like Puppet Pals, Toontastic, Sock Puppets, Buddy Poke Pro (iOS/Android), Voxer (iOS/Android), or Piiig Walkie Talkie (for elementary) to practice role plays.They can take on roles as characters in a book or create modern dialogues between historical figures.Make role-playing cards to guide the conversation. Click here for an example.
  • Students can interview each other:Have them brainstorm questions in advance. Storycorps has a great resource of interview questions.
  • Students can report the news in pairs with apps like Talking Ben & Tom News Reporter (iOS/Android) or TouchCast.
  • Students can play or create games together with their devices.Try these apps- Tiny Tap (iOS/Android), AR Soccer (an augmented reality game), Space Team (iOS/Android), Word Streak (iOS/Android), Words With Friends (iOS/Android), or Song Pop. Discover more game resources here.
  • Get a class set of stylus pens to make drawing and filling in mobile handouts easier and more legible. Amazon allows bulk ordering cheap.
  • Are yours students makers? Have them create their own stylus pens. The links below will give you ideas.5 Ways to Make a StylusVideo: Make a Stylus in 1 Minute

Challenge: Get students to work in pairs with their mobile devices.


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IPad Education, by team Mobile Learning Implementation Resources

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Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at

Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at