Review: Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning by Lisa Nielsen and Willyn Webb
Lisa Nielsen and Willyn Webb have spent the last few years experimenting teaching with cell phones and were thrilled with the results. In their book, Teaching Generation Text, the authors outline important aspects and concerns of teaching and learning with cell phones. Prepare to dive in and learn what it means to use cell phones in the classroom.
Over 4 billion people have cell phones yet people continue to spend money on outdated resources such as textbooks.
Nielsen and Webb believe that teachers must be “multipliers” and make the best of the technology resources within the classroom. If only half of the students have cell phones then every pair of students may have one.
Students today have grown up in a digital world and therefore process information and communicate differently then previous generations. It is thought that using cell phones in the classroom is a way to connect with students on a personal level and enhance engagement.
The authors discuss gathering with other teachers at the Google Teacher Academy to share experiences and tools. Examples of tools outlined in the book are Poll Everywhere, TextTheMob, Wiffiti, which all allow students to interact online with their peers and teachers. These tools can be used as reminders for the students to study or used to find information on demand. Regardless of the socioeconomic status of the students, these are allowing students access to innovative ways of learning.
One major problem addressed, is the banning the use of technology in the classrooms instead of embracing it. To help explain the proper use and benefits of learning in the classroom, there is a five-step plan to follow. This can be a useful resource for parents and teachers exploring this option:
Begin Harnessing the Power of Cells in Education Today – A Five Step Plan:
- Step 1: Use your cell phone for professional purposes
- Step 2: Model Appropirate Cell phone use for learning
- Step 3: Strengthen the Home-School Connection with Cell Phones
- Step 4: Have Students Use Their Cell Phones for Homework, and
- Step 5: Have Students Collaborate on How Cell Phones Might be Use In The Classroom for Learning.
Nielsen and Webb do a wonderful job of outlining lessons in a variety of subjects using tools such as Twitter, Phonecasting, Google SMS, Blogging, and Flickr. These will be important to assist teachers in outlining their lessons moving forward.
Not sure how or where to begin using cell phones and technology in your classroom? By reading this book you will learn the Building Blocks for Success with Cell Phones in Education. With this book, you will have the tools to successfully use technology in the classroom and connect with your students in new ways.