Darren Draper just left a comment and question on my blog about how and where do we begin demonstrating the knowledge construction capabilities of cell phones? I propose that we begin in many places (Classroom 2.0, K12 Online Conference, Edubloggers) but also with a book...actually my book (I know, a little self-promotion) that I am finishing with ISTE, our goal is to have it published before the NECC conference this coming June.
The book is tentatively called Toys To Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones To Education In and Out of the Classroom. In the book I highlight many ways (from the very simple to the more complex) that educators can take advantage of basic cell phones (not fancy iPhones, but an average cell phone that many secondary students own) for a large variety of learning opportunities. Some of the integration ideas that I have included are podcasting, virtual conferencing, photoblogging, videoblogging, mobile surveys/quizzes, game such as cell phone scavenger hunt, making mobile webpages, and mobile concept mapping. I tried to include a large number of lesson plans and "how to" tutorials. The objective of the book is not to tell teachers they have to include cell phones everyday and let students use them all the time in school, rather to ask them to consider cell phones as a possible learning tool and to give them ideas of how they could take full advantage of them. Almost all of the ideas and lessons focus on using the cell phone outside of the classroom (for homework or on field trips), so students do not actually have to bring them into the classroom (especially since so many schools have policies banning cell phones). I also include discussions on why we should include cell phones in our spectrum of classroom learning tools and some examples of adventurous teachers who are having some success with cell phones in their classrooms.
I am very excited because the reviewers for the book (school teachers) highly recommended the book. One of the reviewers even stated that they did not think they would like the book (because of the topic) and now they are actually going to try some of lessons in their classroom. That was nice to hear, since I am well aware that this is a controversial topic! I hope the book with enlighten and be useful to the 21st Century teacher. I'll write more when I have some firm dates of publication.
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Cell Phones in Learning by Liz Kolb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at cellphoneseinlearning.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cellphonesinlearning.com.