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While some schools are happy to ban it, the cell phone in the classroom is proving its worth in others! Supported by a good integration strategy, it can prove to be an essential learning and organization tool. This subject has also been explored in many articles in our professional periodical.

Whether or not to allow cell phone use in class, that's a delicate subject! Institutional staff testified that a large portion of high school youth have cell phones, and they are often on them. We can also expect that lower prices and family plans will push more and more parents to provide a smartphone with Internet to their children.

Not long ago, during a conference, Martin Lessard, columnist for the program La Sphère de Radio-Canada, explained that current cellphones are as powerful as the lunar module of the Apollo missions, with the only difference that this power is now in our pockets. This computing power is increasing at an extremely rapid rate, a huge potential that is being set aside by preventing its use in the classroom.

On January 27, the site Teachthought published an article on the subject Terry heick entitled 50 Reasons It's Time For Smartphones In Every Classroom. Importantly, the words of this article are not those of a follower "blinded" by his desire for technology in the classroom! On the contrary, they raise the importance of all the problems that this integration can cause: classroom management, privacy, theft, harassment, etc. Too shallow and uneducated integration can cause a lot of problems and distractions for students.

Same story on the side of Jennie Magiera, technopedagogue from Chicago whom I had the privilege of meeting twice. According to her, while technology amplifies everything that works in a classroom, it does the same with what doesn't. The positive and the negative!

This is why it is so important to think carefully about the technology integration strategy in the classroom. Here are 10 reasons to use the cell phone at school, among the 50 identified in the article cited above.

  • Give students the option to search on Google if necessary, as the teacher does himself.
  • Enable students to be mobile while using technology.
  • Use apps that send notifications directly to students.
  • Use QR codes in class that students can read.
  • Make video by uploading it directly to a class YouTube account.
  • Allow students to build a digital portfolio in real time.
  • Allow students to use reading apps like iBook, Kindle, etc.
  • Allow students to listen to music while working, as many teachers do.
  • Get organized with a digital agenda with a reminder system.
  • Take advantage of a device that is already in the pocket of many students anyway.

In conclusion, these 10 reasons are not presented as being truths or miracle recipes, but simply statements that the benefits exist.

Have you tried the experiment? If so, what have been your successes, and your areas for improvement? Share your experience with us at info@ecolebranchee.com.


  1. I am now at Bishops College School, and I am doing a debate in French about cellphones in class and I like your perspective on the subject. I remember your behavior in class on my iphone and I just wanted to tell you that I think you are an exceptional teacher !!!

  2. Hello,

    WapEduc proposes that 2015 be:
    "The year of the cell phone in the classroom"
    "The nomadic school, school in your pocket"

    15 high-performance activities with cell phones in the classroom
    Like the computer, can the mobile promote the pleasure of learning, the joy of understanding?
    There are many articles that discuss good reasons for using a cell phone in the classroom. We can read “50 Reasons It's Time For Smartphones In Every Classroom”, or even “10 reasons to use mobile phones in class”.
    Beyond the justifications for using what is in fact a nanocomputer, there are few experiments experienced in class whose progress and therefore the educational contribution could be followed.
    The cell phone begins to become unmanageable in class, one sending his SMS and the other watching a music clip ...
    Why not integrate it into the practice of the classroom?
    It is a nanocomputer and therefore simultaneously a tool for transmission, communication, files (Bluetooth) and information collection (WiFi). Group work then takes on its full meaning.
    Because that is the question: can the mobile be a “teaching companion” within the class itself, can it advantageously complement the teacher's words and shed light on the knowledge and concepts exposed? Would it have the capacity to make the student actor of his own progress and the appropriation of knowledge by asking him more?
    In a BTS "Business Unit Management" class, we use the cell phone in class every day. The research of professional terminology and the consultation of notions or concepts, in small groups, with note taking, allows the student to better appropriate the new knowledge. Voice note-taking or consultations on http://www.wapeduc.mobi make the mobile an unparalleled instrument for animating very rich and dynamic courses.
    In the context of a "reverse class", the mobile is a support for documentation upstream, during the course and after the course. The written summary or report is always associated with the collection of information on mobile media.
    All levels and all sections combined, how many hours does the student have access to a computer during the week? One or two at most… Interactive whiteboards and digital cameras are rarely used. In high school, we have a very high level of equipment and an underuse of hardware and software.
    And yet, from the 6th year, all the pupils are provided with a small piece of equipment of great power: the cell phone.
    The Mooc (Massive Open Online Courses) will soon be available on mobile devices.
    Let us try to consider the uses and pedagogical practices with the mobile in the classroom.
    I / Activities
    Educational support with mobile in class
    1. Searching for information by engine:
    Mobile research is certainly the most transversal activity, one that can be practiced in all disciplines, followed by note-taking and work in pairs or in small groups. We propose the definition or the article which seem to be the best: the teacher then plays the role of expert and moderator.
    2. Audio note taking by recorder
    Obvious practice in languages, the recording of his voice allows a quick audio note taking. In addition, we can listen to each other and improve tone, accentuation, articulation… We can record a presentation, take verbal notes or practice the interview or the survey questionnaire…
    3. Taking photographic notes during visits and PPT presentation
    As soon as the class leaves the establishment, you can reveal different perspectives on the same reality, organize class screenings, constitute a portfolio by subject or by chapter and thus keep a memory of your work ... In addition, the revision is alive and illustrated.
    4. Revisions on http://www.wapeduc.mobi (see the end of the article)
    This site, developed for mobile phones, allows the review of courses in the form of summaries, the answer to evaluated questionnaires, the internal research of concepts among 1200 courses, the listening of numerous audio courses (podcasts), as well as the collection of information in the field of health and guidance.
    In addition, the pupil can deposit his resources in his “Personal space” and have this material in his pocket always accessible. The teacher also has a "Personal space".
    5. The student consults Twitter for a discussion thread related to the course. The simple fact, during a tutorial, of typing #subject studied sends us a flood of data in real time. The teacher has previously identified potential sites and educates students in caution and vigilance.

    6. The student connects to a mobile site previously identified by his teacher. Many content sites offer a mobile version of their application. We are going to witness the emergence of “Mini-Moocs”, which will make it possible to consult high-level courses on mobile devices.
    7. The pupil manages his diary on his smartphone, the setting of alerts is effective and makes it possible not to “forget” any more a control or an important event.

    8. Exchanging files with Bluetooth
    All smartphones are equipped with Bluetooth: it works with any brand, (except iPhone which requires communication with a device of the same brand)
    9. GPS coordinates tracking in SVT
    Once the photos have been taken, the geographical location of its position then makes it possible to find the subject's location. To this must be added the use of the many sensors present in the device: accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetic field sensor, camera and microphone which can be used for many scientific activities.
    10. I missed a lesson: I take some pictures of my classmate's lesson and I retrieve them on my computer using the Camscanner application on Googleplay (Free)

    11. I use the simple calculator on my smartphone and switch to the stand-alone calculator for complex calculations.

    12. I photograph the table to copy the diagrams and information at home later (tables, lists, maps, etc.)
    13. I memorize a text, a diagram, a mental map, etc., from the support of another student, then I send these new resources to myself by email to use them at home.
    14. Twitter is used as a platform for exercising spelling and conciseness, the instruction being to provide a structured and error-free commentary in 160 characters.
    15. I use the QRcode reader on my smartphone to follow flashing the 2D code of a site that the teacher offers by having it displayed on a wall space provided for this purpose.

    II / WapEduc today

    It has been 10 years since the first version of the WAPEDUC nomadic school was born.
    "School in your pocket" allows a constant availability of knowledge, a proximity of knowledge and educational support such as we have never known them. We suggest that the student revise their lessons on their smartphone and read advice on health and orientation.
    During the last 3 years, 62,000 students have revised their lessons on their mobiles and the development of this mobile application allows students and teachers to establish a pedagogical relationship. Beyond a technological innovation, WapEduc is presented as a tool for revision and collaborative work between teachers and students.
    You can find courses, guidance and health advice, assessed questionnaires as well as podcasts in language and in several general disciplines. You can also manage your personal space: notes, saving texts, etc.
    WapEduc, the first European mobile-learning portal, has obtained:
    • Support from the Rectorate of the Academy of Montpellier
    • A distinction as winner of the E-Learning Awards among 600 European projects.
    • A “Sillages 2012” award for its mobile application for university courses.
    • A place in the “Top 30” of digital innovations from National Education 2014.
    • Recognition (2013) by UNESCO as an innovative educational platform.
    The sites :
    The site http://www.wapeduc.net
    On mobile: http://www.wapeduc.mobi
    The articles :

    Best regards

    Philippe STEGER

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