I think one of the best ways to incorporate mobile technology in the classroom right now is through Polleverywhere. This service offers online polling where the students can participate in several different ways, including:
- sms text messaging - via the web using their web widget
- mobile device by visiting poll4.com
- a smartphone interface
Polleverywhere is clearly growing, as the 3rd option that I mentioned above is a new development. I just tried it for the first time using an iPhone and it worked very well. It was easier to use than the sms. There are a couple of big advantages of Polleverywhere when compared to some other technologies. First, it can be used with a regular cell phone and sms service. Most students in school have a cell and sms plan, which makes accessibility very good. If a student doesn’t have a cell, there is also the option to use a computer and web widget. The other big reason why I like Polleverywhere is because there is some sound pedagogy behind it: it can be used for formative assessment. Polleverywhere is a type of Automated Response System (ARS) and these are seen as having a positive student engagement response, along with the assessment aspect (Kay & Knaack, 2009).
Kay, R., & Knaack, L. (2009). Exploring the Use of Audience Response Systems in Secondary School Science Classrooms. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 18(5), 382-392.