I often gloat about how fantastic ChaCha is for gathering information. ChaCha allows you to dial a toll-free number or send a text message and receive information regarding just about anything! Sadly ChaCha can only be used in the United States. However, I often forget to mention that there is an alternative for countries outside of the U.S.. It is called Mymiamia. Mymiamia works in the same way as ChaCha. You can call or text in a question, then receive an answer within a few minutes. These countries include Austrialia, Norway, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, South Africa, and many more! I pasted in the chart of voice and SMS numbers below. Try it!
1) Field Trips/Outside of Classroom Learning
While many teachers may have concerns with using cell phones inside of classroom to gather knowledge and data (although I think this speaks to the need to adjust assessment to more inquiry-based higher order thinking skills), teachers could encourage students to take advantage of Mymiamia on a field trip for gathering knowledge. For example, if students are at a historical village or science museum, and they learn about a famous person, they can gather more knowledge about that person via Mymiamia---in the moment. Thus they learn how to use their cell phones as an immediate knowledge gathering tool!
2) Beginning Inquiry Research
English, Science, and Social Studies courses often encourage inquiry-based learning. While Mymiamia is not going to write an inquiry paper or do inquiry research, it can help students get started on their knowledge gathering process. For example, students could ask, "What are some reasons why the stock market crashed in 1929?" Mymiamia will give a variety of reasons or just one reason. Then it is up to the students to find evidence to corraborate the findings from Mymiamia. They could continue to use Mymiamia IF they know which type of questions to ask. Such as "were there any regulations on the stock market trading in the 1920's?". Once again this is not a paper, rather a knowledge gathering process.
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