Reviewing research projects on the pedagogical use of technology and mobile learning, Göth (2009) argues that mobile devices distract rather than support students to reach their learning goals. On the other hand, other researchers approach this problem in from an interaction design perspective. (Eliasson, 2010). They argue that the right use of technology as a pedagogical tool would foster lifelong learning as a means of providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world. As educators we know that it is not feasible to equip learners at school with all the knowledge and skills they need to prosper throughout their lifetimes. Therefore students will need continually to enhance their knowledge and skills, in order to address immediate problems and to participate in a process of continuing vocational and professional development. The new educational imperative is to empower people to manage their own learning in a variety of contexts throughout their lifetime (Bentley, 1998). Educators have to see mobile learning and personal technology in a positive light because it may create a variety of educational possibilities although, it is crucial teachers be aware of what to consider when designing learning activities for these cutting edge tools. Thinking of it, I propose below some classroom activities that were the outcome of my reflection! Have a try!
1) Cell phone dictation: this is a simple variation from the traditional dictation. Instead of using paper, students would write the words as text messages. It could be also done as competition: the teacher dictates a word and the first one to type it correctly scores a point.
2) Numbers dictation: the teacher asks all students to write their cell phone numbers on a piece of paper. When they are done, all the pieces are put in a box. The teacher raffles a numbers and reads it aloud. Students are supposed to call this number. One of the cell phone is going to ring and the number on the income call is the winner. Important: students are not supposed to answer the calls!!!
3) Calculations dictations: the teacher dictates a calculation and the first student to say aloud the right result scores a point.
4) Pronunciation Challenge: the teacher may select a list of words that are frequently mispronounced. Students are supposed to get in groups and record on their cell phone the way they think the words are pronounced. After, when all the groups are done with the voice recording the teachers goes to freedictinary.com or any other online dictionary and play the right way to pronounce. They play their recordings and compare to the right ones.
5) Adjective pics contest: students are split into groups and they are given a list of adjectives (eg furious, lazy, smart, stubborn, kind, sleepy…) then they are supposed to take pictures showing these adjectives. After all the pictures were taken, students from other groups or even teachers are invited to vote for the ones they like the most.