Have students use their phones to take pictures of important information on the board

Guest post by Joyce Long, educator in Colorado
On The Innovate Educator
“In my classroom I see cell phones as a time saver and tool of engagement rather than a distraction.  For example, in my health class we were on a roll discussing the possibilities of making our own anti-alcohol/tobacco video, improving on the one we had just watched.  The students were excited, motivated, and full of ideas.  I knew they needed to get the ideas off of the board down before they left.  I didn’t want to stop their thinking.  So, I waited until the last second and then asked them to get out their phones and take a picture of the board.  For the ones without phones I posted the photo to the class website and printed out a picture for those without computer access.  This allowed us to continue the brainstorm while on a roll, right up to the last seconds of class time.
In the past I would have had to stop the storm so that everyone would have time to write down what was on the board, or ask them to write as we go, constantly interrupting the flow of ideas.   Now the ideas will be at home too, ready to look at and text adaptations, new ideas, specifics, details, etc. The kids who were absent go the picture texted to them and came back ready to go the next day. Creative energy is such a powerful force.  Having cell phones as a tool to increase the energy simply aids great educational experiences.”

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