Monday, February 13, 2012

Using Smartphones as Learning Tool in and Outside of the Classroom

Think about it….today's smartphones have enormous computing power. That ability opens up numerous opportunities to use them in our pedagogy for teaching and learning. What follow are some common and cool examples.

Cobocards is a collaborative flash card webapp that allows users to create flashcards for review, or to study individually or in groups. There are ready made flash cards in a pool of more than 3.000 topics.

Flash Cards ++ - Another flash card generator used to help students self- assess their retention of information. Students can study on the go, create image flash cards using an iPhone's camera, create or download flashcards on their smartphone or iPad from Quizlet or FlashCardExchange. Moreover, FlashCards++ collects data about students study habits to help them monitor their progress in learning new material. ($3.99 at the App store).

Quizlet- A smartphone flashcard application with a very large database of flash cards (over 9 million free sets of flashcards covering every possible subject). It reinforces learning through study, games, and memorize tools. -

Flashcard Exchange: A web-based repository of flashcards for learning. Covers numerous topics, languages, and colleges. The website boasts some 45.7 thousand flashcards in their library.

Poll Everywhere allows faculty and students to gauge audience feedback – instantly. Poll Everywhere replaces clicker proprietary audience response systems that require hardware with standard web technology. It is quickly becoming the easiest way to gather live responses in many venues (conferences, presentations, classrooms, radio, tv, print - almost anywhere). It works internationally with texting, web, or Twitter. It is free for an audience of 40 or less, and has a low pricing structure for larger audiences. In less than a minute, you can create an account and design a poll.

Project Noah is a smartphone tool to explore and document wildlife. The App allows anyone to map nature via the smartphone. Project Noah, facilitates the ability to upload photos of plants and wildlife from anywhere – essentially creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process. In addition, Project Noah (NOAH) also allows users to snap a photo of something, for example a bug or a tree, and the application will send back an identification of the exact type in as little as 24 hours.

Animoto- Animoto for higher education provides an array of tools for creating videos in your classroom. Professors are able to mix relevant messaging, statistics and quotes among the pictures or videos to educate and inspire students.

Qik - Instant video sharing available on most all popular smartphones. Allows users to capture a moment and share it instantly across many mediums.

Scvngr – This game-based App is about doing things (challenges) in various locations to earn points that may be converted into real things such as: food, beverages, gifts, passes, etc. Players earn points by checking in, posting a tweet, photo, or performing any one of the listed activity challenges that have been identified by the institution, business, or individual who created the challenge. Numerous Universities, cities, museums, restaurants, brands, and nonProfits are building challenge sites to engage those who may like to play. The challenges and opportunities for innovation and creativity are limitless.

How do you stay current when the sands shift everyday? Check out Gizmodo ( to stay on top of Apps, Mashable ( to learn about technology in general and the field, and Europe’s Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies ( to understand the pedagogy of teaching with new technology and to quickly identify the latest and newest ranked applications.

Source: Mark Frydenberg, Wendy Ceccucci, and Patricia Sendall (

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