From Banned to Planned ~ Hall Davidson’s Teaching Them Spectacularly with What’s in Their Pockets

Cutting edge mobile tech: it’s in your pockets

Director of Global Learning Initiatives for Discovery Education, Hall Davidson saw the future ahead of the paradigm shift, and he continues to define Discovery’s cutting edge by teaching students with what’s in their pockets. From banned to planned, this session builds challenging student projects that tap into mobile tools using texting, image, and camera options on smart phones and even plain old ones. Let’s take a peek ahead at magical free QR tools and some dazzling apps–all Davidson and DEN trademarks.

Hall graciously shared his resources at the Discovery Education Resource Bureau. Click here for all of Hall’s resources, including today’s presentation.Click here for a list of resources for the day, aggregated on Symbaloo by Cynthia Brown. Hall’s PowerPoint presentation:

Hall prepping presentation devices

I arrived early to see Hall taping a 45 power microscope ($4 at Amazon–11 new and waiting for you) that turns your cell phone into a microscope. Hands on mobile: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue–a DEN birthday party and this session is all about phones out and on. Hall predicts that in the next 3 years, high schools across America will be using cell phones in the classroom. Beginning with PollEverywhere, Hall selected a free text poll seamlessly in 3 seconds. We responded by texting our 3 favorite words to describe the DEN. Phones out and armed, we responded. You can use the internet, but cell phones make it faster, more fun in real time. You can choose a multiple choice question that displays a bar graph that moves in real time. And you don’t have to be in the same room to use PollEverywhere.

Small but mighty speakers ($10)

If you take it to the next level, on a PC, use CamStudio to video capture (use QuickTime on a MAC) your poll. You could chromakey your students in front of their responses. Uses: unlimited. Think of creating a series of short polls for review; make a video, send it to your Moodle or Symbaloo account, or your website as a review device for a summative assessment. Next step: look at the response history. The text can be copied, put into Word, edited for the date, time and end up with just words. Make a Wordle. Yet another review device. Then chromakey and put someone in front of the Wordle. Fascinating engagement. Use in a health class: text healthy eating and see student responses and create your learning lesson building on the poll.

Word lens apps for iPhones and Droids abound because that’s where the market has landed.

if you want to translate text on a mobile phone, download the Word Lens app, hold the app up to the text and it translates the text automatically. “Screamingly cool.” App is free but the language patch is $9. Just forewarning. The text must be clear and steady and big to work, but think travel uses. Real time translation voice. The Android app is Android Translation; you speak in English and it is translated into _____ (language of choice). Think travel and bartering in the markets or world language classes. This app is not free but mind blowing, according to Hall.

Why do we want to start using mobile apps with our students at all levels. The explosion of bigger, better, stronger doubles monthly, so we need to try to use them in the classroom (or honestly, we won’t be prepared). LeafSnap, your electronic field guide, is a great app; switch from your computer to your iPad (newest computer/camera?) and connect it to your projector. Using LeafSnap, you take a picture of a leaf and the app displays the identification of the tree/plant…and it works (but light is a factor in the process).

Think science class. Your 9th grade leaf collection just got so much easier. Can you imaging how this takes 9th grade science class leaf collections to a totally different (digital) place using your mobile phones. And this leads to something else. Tour Wrist lets you view where you are; the location at which you are. Before you entered SLA, you could have viewed the school and surrounding environs in Tour Wrist. The way you do this is with a panoramic camera, so if you have one, you can create your own tour. Applause!!!

WikiOffline is a pricy app but it is one of Hall’s favorite. It works quickly and the links work. Hall loves it because when you are on planes, you can use it. He warns you that you do get updates, but the process takes a long time. The app ranges around $20, but lifetime updates.

Mobile QR Codes (Quick Response) is like a marker that sends your phone to a text, video or information site. You make, test, and use the code–in minutes. On your mobile device, search QR Reader and use Genius Scan. Use your camera on your iPad and place it over an online site and it creates the QR code. Or you can create your own code. Go to mobile.discovery, intended to be used by a mobile device. Select your item of choice. Copy the url. KAYWA is the code generator of choice; add the link to create the code. Use Scan to go back to code to get to url you created the QR code for. Project Tomorrow (Speak Up) creates the demographic for shy students want to continue learning in college the way they learned in high school (with technology). What if the same QR code could go to a different video every day? Go to The Dynamic Davidson QR code  and it will give you a dynamic link. Go to googol and shorten the url. If you go to details, it gives you QR code immediately.

Too real world? Hall showed us a video of a person who had a QR code on his arm. QR code can be linked to Twitter and tell a story (200 pages, each coded) and can only be viewed on a phone with renewable weekly QR story code. The “book” takes tweets with love in them and begins the story.

A cell phone is learning 24/7 anywhere. It’s a cell phone adventure. You can create a message for your students that they can pause as they work through the learning adventure. A different form of geocaching without the expensive equipment? I really like this one. You can record it ahead of time and create sound effects.

For under $5, you can turn your cell phone into a microscope. If you have a YouTube account, if you go to account, you can get your mobile upload. Mobile setup gives you an address. Make a mobile video and send it to your mobile address. In under 2 minutes, you have a video with a challenge for your students. Prompt: the world will end in 2 minutes; what will you grab to save and why? Make the movie and mobile upload. Classroom uses: magically unlimited. You can also directly upload to your flickr account.

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One Comment;

  1. Dean said:

    QR codes, or quick response codes, are popping up everywhere. We may have seen them at conferences, in catalogs, on billboards and even in the Journal of Accountancy. it’s a part of our life.

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