Can Cellphones be Used as Educational Tools?

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Macleans.ca

Smartphones should be an accepted way that more and more teachers use in addition to traditional methods.

Samantha McCleery , Co-Editor-In-Chief

Cellphones: most teenagers have them. Usually they are seen as a distraction in a school environment, however, cell phones could actually be used to educate students in and out of the classroom. Various apps can be downloaded on a smartphone that can help with learning. Teachers should consistently use phones to connect with students as a more convenient way of passing along information.

Remind is a popular app that allows teachers to send messages to students through texting. If a teacher forgot to assign homework, wants to announce an upcoming test, or remind students of the assignments due during the week, they can use this app. Once students leave the school grounds, it still gives the teachers a way to contact them with urgent information that can’t wait until class the next day. There is even a feature where students can respond back with questions they have for the teacher. Also, this app can even be used for clubs and teams to help with group coordination.

Another app students can use at home to help with school is Quizlet. This application allows teenagers to create flashcards for different terms and vocabulary and study them. There are even games students can play to help memorize the words. Also, if teachers want students to make index cards, they can allow them to use Quizlet since teenagers will access their phones more than they will index cards. This would be a smart app for teachers to have students use because it could decrease the chance of them forgetting homework.

There are apps that can be used inside a classroom that provide a more interactive experience, like Kahoot. This game-based platform allows teachers to create questions with multiple choice answers for students to respond to. This can be used to help prepare for an upcoming exam or for review in general. This app is engaging and fun for students, so it keeps them focused while also changing up their way of learning.

Google applications including Classroom and Docs can be accessed on smartphones and used in class as educational tools. Google Classroom allows teachers to post assignments that can be done online. Teenagers are always on their phones, so they can submit homework online once they are completed, and teachers can grade right from the computer. Classroom is an easy way to assign work and even though it requires the use of a phone, it does not distract from learning. If a notification pops up saying one of their teachers assigned something, a student will be more inclined to check the app and complete it.

Yes, cellphones a lot of the time are distracting to students in class. However, by using cellphones as learning tools there will be no distraction because students will be focused on the task they were given. Also, they will never be without their assignments. Smartphones should not replace other modes of learning; however, they should be an accepted way that more and more teachers use in addition to traditional methods.