10 smart ways to use smart phones

Are you using the smart parts of your phone, or just the phone part? Beyond the typical texting, talking, and picture sharing features, today’s phones offer many smart tools to help us with teaching and learning. The ten ideas shared below are only the beginning of uses we can make sure our students know about.

  1. wonderwoman_popsocket
    WonderWoman PopSocket
    Pop socket: Use your phone as a second screen while working on a laptop or PC. Pop on a $2 pop socket, and set your phone next to you. Take notes in a Word document while viewing a powerpoint or video on your phone, or follow along with a software tutorial.
  2. Save $: Access the internet more cheaply through an unlimited data plan, and tether your pc, laptop, or TV when using if you live in a rural area where reliable and affordable internet isn’t available.
  3. Accessibility_on_iPhone
    iPhone Screen set up to use Siri
    Hey, Siri! Sync your phone to your car, and listen to course audio lectures while commuting. Have a great idea while driving? Tell Siri to make a new note, and tell her what to write down for you.
  4. Personal ADA: Under settings–>general–> are numerous ways to customize your phone for accessibility. The official iPhone guide to options is 80+ pages; Lifehacker also shares accessibility secrets
  5. Brain prosthetics: Need help with organizing coursework, balancing life, keeping track of your health, destressing before a test? Your smartphone probably has an app for that. Unlimited alarms can be set and named as reminders for classes; special sounds and notifications can be used to make sure important items aren’t missed.
  6. Authentic assessment: Not many careers rely on standardized testing or writing APA-style papers as a daily function. Snap a picture of what you built, created, or record a performance.
  7. Apps abound: Have you taken time to search what apps (many are free) support your discipline area? Apps can even turn (Smule Ocarina) your phone into an instrument–you blow into the microphone.
  8. Advocate: The 1992 movie, The Power of One, showcased how one person’s passion can change their world. With social media on our phones, we can instantly connect and tap into social capital to advocate for changes we care about.
  9. Virtual Reality: Narrowing the gap between theory and practice, virtual reality allows us to enter into other worlds with only our phone and tools such as Google Cardboard, or to share our world with tools such as Roundme.
  10. Play (A four letter word for experiment)! Higher education is where we equip students to go forth and change the world for the better. Our phones encompass so many ways to explore and manipulate the world around us, and to create. Have fun with your phone! Experiment! Start with silly, such as recording making a face in slo-mo–then you’ll find it hard to stop yourself from wondering how you could use that type of idea in your teaching!

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