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It a fact that more students and their parents have access to a cell phone at home than a connected computer. Cell phones may be one of the most abundant yet underused pieces of technology in the educational setting. While it is important that schools maintain prudent and effective policies regarding cell phones in school, it is important to note that cell phones can be used to engage students and provide meaningful learning experiences. The cell phone can be a tool both in and out of school. This page is dedicated to uses of the cell phone as part of the total educational program. Please note that many of the applications mentioned may also be performed using traditional land line phones and voice over internet connections.
Take a look at this video from a short snipit of a PBS interview (July 15, 2009) with (US Secretary Of Education) Arne Duncan about games and cell phones in education.


Making podcasts, hosting conference calls, and recording by phone
Connect with Gabcast. A great way for students to connect and it also allows you to make an audio podcast using an ordinary phone. Listen to my Gabcast Introduction. Another great site is Gcast which allows some editing using its basic feature and can publish to a public web site. It also provides free music that could be used in podcasts or other multimedia productions. Another service called Free Conferencing Pro provides the ability to host conference calls and create an MP3 file of those calls. Last, Jott is a great telephone service that provides speech to text conversion. Imagine the possibilities when students can send emails from their cell phones whether they have a computer connection from home or not. Unfortunately it is no longer free but Reqall could fill the void. It is still free or, for a small annual cost, get some pro features. The free version could be a great way for kids to keep track of homework. Check out this video created by David Pogue on the Reqall service. Another service with homework tracking possibilities is BrainCast. The dependable service, Voice Thread ,that has been used with computers with Web 2.0, can also be used with cell phones. This web site explains seven reasons to use Voice Thread in education.

Still pictures and video with a cell phone
Note that while many of these sites work with cell phones, computers can also be used to access them. Blogger has a photo blog area but, due to its instant posting to a public area, it may not be beneficial for classroom use. On the other hand, Photobucket allows a classroom teacher to set up one account via email and have the whole class post pictures or videos to it. The great plus of Photobucket is that the teacher has control over what can be viewed. Students are able to edit, mix up, and create slide shows of the pictures inside of Photobucket. Pictures can be sent to Facebook, Myspace, Blogger, and Live Journal. Many people do not realize that Flickr can also be used for direct transmission from a cell phone using the Flickr Mobile Site. A private area can be set up by the teacher that all students can access. Flickr also has an agreement with Picnik that allows for picture editing. Youtube gives the opportunity to post videos from cell phones on a private channel. A service called Motion Box allows for both posting and editing of videos. Another good online video editing service is Jay Cut. Flagr is a resource that will allow pictures to be geotagged to a map. This has many possiblities and Flagr Cell Phone Instructions are posted. If you want to make still videos with voice narration then Yodio is the perfect free tool. While you can use a computer, a complete Yodio can be made with a cell phone.

Other Ideas

Polling web sites using cell phones
Polls Everywhere - Great free polling service for small groups. Will handle larger groups for a fee.
Mobiode - For polls that demand just a little more. Free service allows for one survey at a time with advertisement on web page.

Mobile blogs. websites, and text messaging services
Zinadoo allows individuals to make a web site for the very small screen. Great for student sharing and also for teachers to distribute information.
Winksite is another place to create a mobile web site.
FeedM8 allows a person to set up a mobile blog for cell phone use.
Pinger allows total class alert and feedback.
Remember The Milk provides the ability to make lists and send out email and text reminders. It is also a great Web 2.0 site for computer use.
Drop.io is a collaboration tool that also connects with other Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter. Great computer tool also. See Video.