Pictures, Polls and Videos: How to Use Mobile Phones for Learning

| April 17, 2012 | 6 Comments
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Kids are using Instagram and Twitter in their daily lives outside of school, so why not let them use it for class studies too? This is just one example of many featured in this second episode of Infinite Thinking Machine, a Web TV show for teachers produced by Computer Using Educators (CUE), which shows how to use students’ mobile devices in school. Examples like quick class polling to gauge student understanding using Poll Everywhere, Text the Mob and Wiffitti; creating instructional videos on sites like Educreations.

For this episode, CUE asked yours truly to do a segment on how educators use Google Chats and video conferencing, and you’ll see some of those examples, as well. Check it out!

[Executive producers are Mike Lawrence (@techmaverick) and Chris Fitzgerald Walsh (@fitzwlsh)  and Ramsey Musallam (@rmusallam) is your host.]

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  • Paul B.

    As a high school teacher, I too, was drawn to the allure of using polleverywhere and other like sites to gauge student understand and engage the class.  Ultimately, I think it’s a waste of time–does polling really demonstrate any type of significant learning?  If anything, students should spend less time on their devices.  I do like the use of instagram plus reflective writing, however…
     I’m all about using technology if it improves learning, but what I’ve seen is mostly gimmicky so far.  Check out the post I wrote about incessant social media use and texting at

    • physics101

      “does polling really demonstrate any type of significant learning?”. I think there is a considerable body of knowledge compiled now that confirms yes indeed it can! I’ll refer you on to the works of Eric Mazur at Harvard and Carl Wieman at University of British Columbia using polling and peer discussions to dramatically improve learning. I particularly like Mazur’s presentation, available on YouTube, “Confessions of a Converted Lecturer”.

      As with so many educational technologies, and even non-technological teaching strategies, it isn’t what you are using, but HOW you are using it that matters.

      • Ramsey Musallam

        I agree with the Mazur reference. I use it to facilitate Peer Instruction as it provides an nice visual of not only converging at the correct answer via collaboration, but also a visual of distracting questions, helping students understand instrument construction. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for doing this. For next time – looking at the camera is a good idea. Helps me feel like you are addressing me and not some unseen force.

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  • Hollis Sisto

    Great article. I love the way phones and tablets are evolving, allowing this type of interaction for kids. It is about time learning took place and not just sitting around playing games. There are so many great options in mobile devices now, I got my latest one at and got a great price. I am now looking into a tablet for my 5 y/o.