Mobile Technology and Learning
Mobile technology has transformed the way we communicate with each other. It’s also changed the way we socialise and the way we buy things. Everything is available to us at the touch of a button.
So why do we not use it in the classroom? Why do teachers insist on making you switch your phone off during the lesson? How can you use your phone more effectively?
Teachers are usually happy for you to use your mobile devise if you are using it to help you with learning English in and outside the classroom. However, they are not happy when you are playing Candy Crush or are on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
There are a lot of things that you can do with mobile technology to enhance your learning. Here are some ideas taken from the British Council website which can help you.
Cameras and microphones are useful for learning English
SMART targets are targets which are: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. Don’t just say that you want to “speak better English” or that you want to “get a 6.5 in your IELTS exam”, but mention a specific part of the English language that you want to improve, something that you can measure so that you know when you’ve achieved that target, something realistic and attainable, something relevant or useful your you as an individual and then set a time in which you want to achieve it.
You can use the camera or the microphone to record language around you in and outside the classroom. You can take photos of street signs, menus, advertisements and any other examples of written English that you see around you. You can also take photos of when English is misused or when people make mistakes with spelling or punctuation. This can be shared in class with you teacher and other students.
The camera and the microphone are also good for recording yourself, your friends and teacher (but remember to ask for permission first). It is a good way to go back and listen again to what has been said, and it also helps with pronunciation. You can record conversations with native speakers and replay them for clarification and listening practice. You can record your own personal diary about what you do every day or what you did last weekend. You can share your videos with your classmates.
There are a lot of apps that can help you learn English. You can try them all and find one that suits you. Apps add variety to the classroom and can support your learning in another form. Here are some you can try :
iPhone: FluentU on the AppStore
Android: FluentU on Google Play
iPhone: Google Translate on the AppStore
Android: Google Translate on Google Play
For listening practice
iPhone: English Podcasts on the AppStore
Android: English Podcasts on Google Play
iPhone: Words With Friends on the AppStore
Android: Words With Friends on Google Play
iPhone: Fun English on the AppStore
Android: Fun English on Google Play
iPhone: Heads Up! on the AppStore
Android: Heads Up! on Google Play
LearnEnglish Grammar (UK ed)
Flashcardlet by Quizlet
*Please remember that you may have to pay for some Apps.
You can tweet a summary of a lesson or a text in 140 characters. You can tweet photos of your weekend and of interesting things you’ve seen or interesting places you’ve visited and any interesting people you’ve met. If you share a hashtag, your classmates can join in and follow you.
Writing blog posts
You can create your own class blog and everyone can contribute to it. Writing blogs can help you improve your vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing.