Tips for Classroom Use of Student-Owned Mobile Devices

1) Start small. Work with a small group of teachers who are positive about mobile device use in the classroom.
2) Connect teachers with best practices on using mobile devices in the classroom, and encourage them to share their tips with one another as they learn what works.
3) Find out what percentage of students at your school owns a mobile device by conducting a survey. You may want to include questions about access to texting, mobile internet browsers, and apps.
4) Be sensitive to financial and “status” issues regarding mobile devices. Many families either do not allow their children to have mobile phones, or cannot afford them. Be careful that teachers do not assume that all students have mobile devices. Statements like “Everyone, get out your cell phones” must be avoided.
5) You can use mobile devices in class even if only a few of your students have them. In fact, there are many activities that can be done with just one mobile device in the classroom. ISTE’s Toys to Tools book has many ideas.
6) Use mobile devices purposefully.
7) Mobile devices can be especially powerful tools for students with organizational difficulties. Take advantage of planners, timers, and calendars.
8) Expect snags to occur! It will take time to recognize and overcome management-related and instructional obstacles. Involve teachers and students in problem-solving.