Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cellphones in the classroom- POLLEVERYWHERE ROCKS


This past week, I wanted to get the kids thinking about the role of our government, who do they work for, what is the role of mass media, who controls us, are textbooks accurate (ask Gary Stager about this), etc…

We just finished our unit on Macbeth and Lord of the Flies, where we were looking at the question “What does it take to challenge the system?”. We are going to continue pursuing this question now through our study of Fahrenheit 451 and a couple of short stories “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury and “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut. Also, to get the kids thinking about technologies role in their lives in connection with the novel, we watched Dr. Wesch’s A Vision of Students Today and The Machines are Using Us. (Of course, we already have watched the infamous DYK).

In order to get the kids to shift into a new novel, and while continuing to thinki about those questions above, I created a poll via polleverywhere.com where the kids in pairs, could discuss a question and then text in their answer to our class poll. This created a lively discussion amongst the class! Wow- these kids were on fire. The combination of technology, questions, group work, and a classroom where we operate under the motto “This is NOT education as usual” made this an amazing day. The poll was extremely easy to create and it was fascinating to ask the kids to defend their answer or different answers, change sides, or limit their responses to a few words. The questions I asked were from a study guide that I used to use. I am anxious to keep on implementing this easy tool that is FREE as a quick gauge for understanding or to pose thoughtful questions helping the kids to take sides.

4 comments:

Patrick Larkin, Principal said...

Thanks for the post on your use of cellphones in the classroom. We changed our policy this year at our school and I am hoping that our staff will increase their comfort level and confidence in using cellphones as an educational tool by seeing great examples like yours.

I added a post about your post to my blog. http://burlingtonhigh.blogspot.com/2009/11/cellphones-in-classroom-are-adding.html

Thanks!

Powell Pumas Tale said...

Powell is trying to get cell phones incorporated more into learning. I think that we could use it, but need to be stricter on no texting. The camera on most phones could be very useful and polls should be used, too. We're a little behind the Arapahoe curve. What privileges should middle school students have with phones?

annes said...

Have the kids determine what should be acceptable and what shouldn't. Then, they have created the buy in and accountability for rewards and consequences.

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