Mobile Phones as Teaching Tools

Posted on: April 7, 2011

I remember the first days I had my mobile. I was 12 years old, did not know how to silence my cell in class and was blamed for putting on air! It was quite challenging to hide it from teachers, too.  “Hide” is a keyword here! I will not talk about the how the technology improved in 10 years but when I think back, it makes me shiver.

Having been educated by very strict teachers, I took my oath so as to be a friendly and up-to-date teacher, in the way I had wished to see my teachers. The first step was the use of technology in classroom. Being a techlover was a plus. I will tell the details in other posts, but here I want to talk about mobile phones.

Why should we use mobile phones in classes?

Mobile phones are the most widespread communication devices in the world and they are convenient. You can perform several actions using a little device.

How can we use it in our lessons?

Learning a language is all about practice and mobiles are super useful tools for that. Here are some ideas:

1. Recording device: If you want your Ss to record any activity (i.e. pairwork, interview), mobiles will be really helpful. Once they record it, they will listen to it. If they don’t like it, they may do it again. It’s really simple and convenient.

2. Telephoning: Let’s say you’re teaching one of the task-based  “How-to-Survive”s. And say, your subject is “Booking a room”. First, teach them common phrases to use, explain them if needed, do some practice. And then, hand a student a mobile and tell him/her to leave the classroom. S/he will be the customer or hotel clerk. The other party will be in the classroom and you will hear the conversation along with the other Ss. This activity will increase anxiety for once but the students will be ready for a real conversation after some practice.

3. Countdown device: If you are a teacher who is fond of classroom games (like me), then you know how crucial it is to have a countdown clock. Mobile phones are great for this.

To perform these activities, all you need is a classic mobile phone. No wonder that there are more ways to use it. I will add more once I collect them.


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