Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Turn that phone on! Mobile technology in the classroom

This PRF session featured a talk by Anna Hunter who used mobile learning and TweetDeck to encourage engagement in the classroom. Students were expected to set up a twitter account if they didn't already have one by the next session and bring a smartphone or laptop....

She set up hashtags e.g. #EN1216d #fanficwhat #fanficwhere #fanficwho based around specific questions or tasks which the class used to tweet answers to those questions. A Twitter wall was displayed using the projector in the classroom, so students could see the live tweets appearing on the board.

They were encouraged to see themselves not only as consumers of knowledge and texts, but active participants in knowledge exchange and creation.

The students really took to this activity really well. even those who didn't normally engage or were quite shy.


  • Students keen to engage in debate
  • Semi-permanent record of comments
  • Discussion easier to manage
  • Fosters highly collaborative learning environment
  • 140 character limit enforces concise response
  • Development of learning community outside of classroom
  • Positive student feedback

Anna was inspired by this video on Youtube: The Twitter Experiment - Twitter in the Classroom  by  Dr. Rankin, professor of History at UT Dallas.

Hopefully this will help inspire you to think about using social media to engage students in live debate. 

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