Saturday, March 7, 2009

Australian Teacher Impresses with Cell Phones in Learning

Australian educator Jarrod Robinson (Known as Mr. Robbo -- The P.E. Geek) has been doing some very impressive activities with cell phones in his instruction. He is a physical education teacher in Victoria, Australia. Below I describe a few of these innovative projects:

Most recently Jarrod has developed a QRcode orienteering activity for his students. Awesome! Below are the instructions to his activity from his Blog. Jarrod used a simple Google generator to create the QR codes.
  1. The students will be working in pairs using their mobile phones and their QR code reading software.
  2. The course will start with a single QR code, each pair will receive a different code so that they start at a different part of the course.
  3. Students will scan their codes which will then reveal the directions they need to dial into their compasses and a riddle that gives clues as to the location of the first marker and the next QR code.
  4. Half way throughout the course is a QR code with a difference, it contains a template for an SMS message that links directly to my mobile phone. Once scanned the students will send a text message that basically asks for the next clue, which will then be sent to them so they can complete the course.
  5. The final QR code links to a downloadable Microsoft word document that details the questions they need to complete around the practical experience as related to the course.

Another activity that Jarrod has developed is sending homework to student cell phones through MMS messaging. Jarrod sends videos and pictures to students as part of their homework assignments. He sends a video message along with instructions to the students for their homework.

The third activity has a focus on using cell phones in exams. Jarrod is using SMS texting to help his students prepare for exams! He uses smsexpress to set up automatic SMS messages that are delivered to his students periodically over the course of the week leading up to the exam. Students receive the messages each day, which are actually questions from the exam. He even gives them options as to what time of day they prefer to receive the questions. As a result Jarrod feels that his students are able to research, collaborate, and better construct answers to his exam questions.

Finally, Jarrod had his students create a blog during their physcial education camping trip via their mobile phones using Utterli. Students posted pictures, audio, and text messages about their camping experience at Grampians National Park. He used the images and posts in their final assessment project! I think it is very smart to use student-collected data in the assement of units and projects! BRAVO Mr. Robinson, keep up the amazing mobile work! I'm very inspired.


Anonymous said...

This sounds great. Reading about the Qrcodes reminded me that not too long when I read about it on your blog I tried it out with my phone (LG env with Verizon), which is not supported (as far as I could tell). Which of course I am used to as I have attempted to tryout a lot of the applications that I read of here and on other sites. So I was wondering if there were any opinions about what models of phones are best to consider when getting a new phone?

after reading your blog about slideflickr and live slideshows I set up a slideshow on our wiki and will have kids (using my phone) sending photos to it during our next field trip. I plan to notify the parents so that if they want/are able to they can take a look during the day. I had to learn how to set these particular images public via the flickr address (as I keep our flickr account private).

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for the kind words, ive been reading your blog for quite awhile now so its great to see mine is hsa been useful for you also. Would love to chat one day over skype or something. My skype name is robbo6486.

Anonymous said...

How cool!!! I would say that Mr. Robbo is a visionary in his endeavors - finding a way to not only integrate technology into P.E., but doing it in really creative ways. He's even hitting problem solving and critical thinking skills!

What these kids learn to do with their phones, while participating in physical activity, will definitely keep them much more engaged in the activities and teach them important 21st century skills. Great work!

Thanks for sharing this, Liz!

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