Archive for the 'smart phone' Category

Assessment and Mobile Learning Questions

Technology can play a critical role in the learning process.  Here are some questions about assessment and mobile learning to think about as you plan for your mobile learning.

Who/ What  will assess the students’ mobile learning?
A) the same mobile app that the student worked on
B) a  different mobile app
C)  the teacher corrects a paper and pencil quiz
D)  an online  program evaluates learning
E) the teacher assesses the students’ paper, presentation or project that incorporates learning from the mobile device
F) some one in the class, school,  or another school assesses the learning.
G) some one outside the school, from the community, an organization, etc. assesses the learning.
H) the students self-evaluate and reflect on how to improve

Will the assessment be?
A) summative ( a final grade)
B) formative with  specific feedback and an opportunity for improvement

My ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at

My modern language blogs are  now at  I have developed 27  Spanish activities and 4 Modern Language Visual activities in which students begin to express themselves in the modern language and to  move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:

Show Administrators Good Learning, Not Mobile Learning, to Convince them of Mobile Learning

Some administrators still prohibit cell phones and other mobile devices  in the classroom.  They do not change their  minds when their teachers send them articles about the benefits of mobile learning; in fact, they may not even have time to read the articles.  Often when a teacher approaches the administrators with a statement like “Mobile learning is great”, they turn a deaf ear.  They are not interested in technology per se.

These administrators focus on student improvement.  However, when a teacher says, “I want to show you how much more students have gained in their learning since the beginning of the year”, the administrators become interested.   For example, Miss Thorp  shows her  administrator, Mr. Verona, how students have grown in their learning on a major subject area goal.  She demonstrates the low starting scores on math word problems and their now high scores. She does not talk about  or show mobile learning.  Once Mr. Verona acknowledges the students’ major learning   improvements, then she shows that students used  mobile learning to work on grocery store word math problems with students in other states and tells how important the mobile learning was to the learning.  Mr. Verona  now realizes that mobile learning  can be a valuable tool  in the math class.

How do you show your administrator improved student learning as a result of mobile learning?

My three formative assessment books, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students,  Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at

My modern language blogs are  now at

I have developed 25  Spanish activities  and 4 Modern Language Visual activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation at Teacherspayteachers:

Criteria for selecting student mobile learning device (educational concerns)

As schools move toward mobile learning, they have to make decision about the type of mobile device that the students will use.  Regardless of whether the school supplies its own device or whether students supply their own,  there  are some basic minimal  requirements.

1) The device has to connect to the  internet so students can use qr codes, do internet searching,  bookmark commonly used sites,  watch educational videos and create online surveys.

2) The device should have enough memory for basic apps such as an  e-reader, a note-taker/ word processor,   spreadsheet,   media player, and a dictionary app.  The device will have other apps that help the students to climb the learning ladder from memorization to synthesis/evaluation  for their  specific learning goals.  There will be many more higher level learning apps (70%) than lower level ones (30%).  Those apps that simulate or duplicate real-world use of the subject area  learning will be the most useful apps.

3)  The device should have a camera and microphone so students can take pictures, record videos, and record audio. They will want to  capture and demonstrate their learning through images and sound (pictures, sound recordings, and movies).

4) Students need to be able to do texting  on the device so they can seek the perspectives of others and to learn from others outside the classroom.  As students learn to ask good  essential questions, they can seek the perspectives of others so they can go beyond the limited perspective of the textbook.  If we value diversity, let’s bring it into the classroom through seeing the opinions of others.

5) As students use their mobile device to explore concepts through productivity based learning, they will want to be able to call their experts such as their aunt or grandfather for things such as what is was like during the Depression,  how a farm business has been changed by technology, etc. so the mobile learning device needs to have phone capabilities.  Even better, if it can have videoconferencing.

6) Students need access to their social media sites on their mobile learning device so that they can distribute surveys.  When they want to receive many responses, they know they can distribute the surveys to their online friends.  The more people responding, the better the data to analyze and the more critical thinking involved.

If we want students to be prepared for their future in the real world, the world outside the classroom, then we need to start taking them virtually into that world and allowing them to bring that world into the classroom through their mobile learning device.

I have 20+ Spanish spontaneous speaking/fluency activities  available at Teacherspayteachers:

My three formative assessment books:

Analysis of Learning with Mobile Learning

Use the following grid to analyze student learning based on  how you will be or are using mobile learning.

If you are planning for mobile learning, how can you modify your present plan to maximize learning with mobile learning?


My formative assessment books: Formative Assessment Responding to Your Students,   Student Writing Through Formative Assessment Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment.

My 20 Spanish spontaneous speaking activities are available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:

Change Teaching Since Mobile Learning Devices as Outgrowth of Web 2.0

I feel that mobile learning with Smartphones, tablets, etc. comes as a natural outgrowth  of Web 2.0 and therefore our pedagogy with mobile learning has to be Web 2.0 or more.

Most older computer programs were top-down where the computer delivered the specific content and the student did that content in a specified path; they simply plugged in the answers.  Web 2.0 tools are  about the students  creating and interacting.

People used  the older phones  exclusively for talking.  Mobile learning devices allow today’s youth to  interact with the world, to create media,  and to access information.  Today’s youth determine what they want to do  and then use their  mobile learning device for that purpose.

If educators want  students to benefit from mobile learning devices in the classroom, then these educators have to change their teaching from the top-down deliver  teaching method to student engaged-interacting-creating.

Some ways teachers need to change:

1. Since students can access factual knowledge from their mobile learning device, teachers have to move from fact-delivers to  in-depth understanding and connections guiders.

2. Since students can text many other people and access multiple websites, teachers have to help students to evaluate and synthesize many diverse opinions about a particular learning concept/ situation.

3. Since students can access much  discrete information, teachers need to help students to go beyond the discrete learning to  see the big picture, the big  concept or question.

4. Since students can easily create media on their mobile learning device, teachers will move from just student text reports to media reports to demonstrate the students’ higher level  learning.

5. Since students can use the real world tools on the mobile learning devices, teachers will engage students in real life problems that use the critical learning.  Math students can help design a new playground for an elementary school in their district.

6. Since students can easily contact others and can access the web through their MLD , teachers will turn to collaborative project-based   in which students jig-saw their individual knowledge to form a  bigger learning.

7. Since students can ask peers and others for information through their MLD, teachers will help students write better survey questions and help the students  analyze survey data.

8. Since students can access online calendars and learning  interactive environments like Edmodo on their Smartphones and tablets, teachers will empower students  to be more responsible for their own learning.

9. Since students daily use their MLD, teachers can learn  from the students about the many educational and real-world apps that help students to become better learners.

So how has your teaching changed due to using mobile learning devices?

I have 20 Spanish spontaneous speaking/fluency activities  available at Teacherspayteachers:

My three formative assessment books:   

5 Smartphone (Mobile Learning) Concerns

As I have been using smartphones in my classes, presenting about it,  writing about it, and reading about it, I have some concerns.

1. Why limit mobile learning  to lower-level drill and kill activities?   Spanish teachers can have their students  study vocabulary on a topic such as a restaurant via an app. However, they can also use a QR code to show the students a restaurant  in Lima Peru and have their  students talk about the restaurant.

2. Why limit mobile learning to text-based learning?  A common mobile learning activity is to have students use a QR code to go to a web page and read the information.  Why not take them to a video or a  photo that shows the same  learning?  Math students can watch a Kahn video instead of reading about the math.

3. Why limit Smartphones to  individual activities?  Instead of Johnny sitting by himself learning about a country,  why not have Johnny and Rosa contrast different pictures of the same country?  Johnny has one picture and Rosa a different one.

4. Why limit mobile learning to one small view?  English students can search the Internet on their mobile learning device and find a poem about love  but these same students can create QR posters in which they show how the human condition of love shows up in a poem, a song, a movie, and a TV show. They can compare/contrast the various types of love.

5. Why limit Smartphones/tablets to just learning when students can use it to analyze their learning?  As students do various speaking tasks, they record their scores  in a Google document spreadsheet. They can see how well they  are progressing at any time.  Likewise, they could use an online rubric checklist (Google Doc) to help them assess how well they have written their essay.

How do your students use Smartphone, Tablets or Mobile Learning? Are they limited?

I have 20 Spanish spontaneous speaking/fluency activities at Teacherspayteachers:

My formative assessment books:   Formative Assessment Responding to Your Students,   Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment  Successful, and    Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

Learning Disease Epidemic: Textbook Dependency

Many students suffer from the academic disease of textbook dependency.  You can help cure your students of this affliction.

Are always looking in the textbook for answers
Never thinking for themselves
Cannot make connections between two concepts found in different chapters
When told to close the textbook and do an activity on their own,  they  show a wide range of emotions from a dazed look to high anxiety plus physical signs of mild to severe panic.

Sample cases:
1) A Modern Language  teacher asks his students to  find an Internet picture of a street scene in a country such as Ecuador  either on their Smartphone / tablet or print out the picture and bring to class.  When the teacher asks the students to talk about that street picture which is not in their textbook but based on the vocabulary in the chapter which they have reviewed many times, students show visible signs of agitation. Eyes are wide open as their mouths may be.  Visible nervousness. Inability to speak.  Students feel pressured. Pulse becomes higher.

2) When a Social Studies  teacher asks his/her  students to compare the Occupy movement to the American Revolution, students quickly look in the textbook’s  index and are shocked not to find Occupy listed. They  nervously flip through  the textbook pages.  Mild panic sets in. They cry out in emotional trauma, “It’s not in the book. What do we do?” Faces become red or pale, sweat may appear.

One cure:
Have the  students  do at least one activity beyond the textbook on a weekly or even better, on a daily  basis.  Scaffold their transition from the textbook to applying  the critical  information/concept.

The teacher can relate the learning goal to the real world.  He/She can  start small.

Example 1: In Modern Languages, before students talk about a street scene,  the teacher has them find either on their Smartphone/ tablet or print out a street scene picture and bring to class. The students identify the key street vocabulary from the book in the actual picture; they point to the object/person and say the word.  They review any words with which they had difficulty.  Then, without using their textbook or any review sheets, the students use the vocabulary in basic sentences to talk about the picture such as “There are many pedestrians in the street.  The cars stop at the stop light.”

Example 2: In Social Studies the teacher has students use their Smartphone/tablets or their home computers to find out what the Occupy movement is and what the movement’s goals are.  The teacher may start them off with some categories to explore such as purpose, method, etc.  The teacher has them create a similarity-contrast chart for Occupy and the American Revolution. Students use the chart as a basis for their critical thinking.

How do you move  your students from their dependency on the textbook to their  independent thinking?

I have many Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers:

My formative assessment books:

Flickr Vocabulary Pictures Based on Real Objects For Your Class

I have been having my Spanish students take  real life pictures of vocabulary items  that are in our textbook and  put those pictures in my class Flickr  account. The textbook’s drawings lack realism (what is that?).  Most students used their Smartphones. When students can see a real object such as a plate, they can  better learn the word.

Elementary teachers, special education teachers, modern language  / foreign language teachers, ESL teachers, and   people working with refugees can use these pictures.   The pictures usually have no words.  They can be used in any language.

There are about 600 pictures ; some categories such as comida (food) are very large with subcategories while others have about  ten pictures.   I will update this blog as the students add more categories.

To use these free pictures in your class   1) go to, 2) click on the word Search,  3) Click on Tags Only at the far right,   4) Then in the search box, type in spancon + one of the following category names such as spancon +hora  (for clocks showing various times). spancon is the name for my class so you only see my students’ pictures of the category.

To show the pictures in a slideshow,  1) click on the slideshow icon (a screen)  in the upper right, 2) Click on Options in the upper right, 3) Adjust the time from slow  to medium to fast; slow  is about seven seconds between slides and  4) click on the X in the upper right corner to close the  Option window.  When the left  bottom side displays a triangle, the slide show is paused.  Click on the triangle and two bars appear, the slideshow is running. The first  slide will not change for a few seconds since it is on a time delay; just wait.)  You can also just click on the pictures at the bottom of the slide show to show select pictures.  Students can identify the vocabulary and even say very short sentences before the slide changes.

The category names are in Spanish (without accent marks)
actividad (common actions)
aparato (electrical devices – phone, headphone..)
casa  (house)  with cuarto (rooms), bano (bathroom), and cocina (kitchen)
ciudad (city -mainly traffic things)
clase  (classroom objects)
clima (weather)
color (color)
comida (food) with subcategories of fruta (fruit) , verduras (vegetables), bebida (drink),
cubierto (tableware)
cuerpo (body)
deporte (sports)
hora (clock time- digital)
joyas (jewelry)
naturaleza (nature)
numero (numbers)
oficina (office things)
ocupacion (occupation, jobs=
reflexivo (reflexive actions such as to brush one’s teeth)
ropa (clothing)
salud (health related)
quehaceres (household chores

I have over 15 Spanish spontaneous speaking activities  are at Teacherspayteachers:

My formative assessment books, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students ; Successful Student Writing   Through Formative Assessment ; and Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment , can be purchased at

Education Leaders Promote Higher Users of Mobile Learning Technology

Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents for Curriculum, and Principals as  the educational leaders for their district and building  have the responsibility of  helping students to succeed.  One way to accomplish this goal is to assist teachers through showing them how to use  technology at higher levels to meet learning goals.  A current hot technology centers on mobile learning through tablets and Smartphones.

These educational leaders may enlist the assistance of the Director of Technology or a technology specialist to show teachers how to quickly climb the ladder of learning with mobile learning.  Unfortunately, when people introduce  a new technology, they  generally tend to show  its lower levels of learning such as for drill (memorization) or comprehension.  Those people demonstrating tablets or Smartphones will not focus on using these mobile learning devices to access factual knowledge such as through Chacha or Google.  Instead, they will show how students can create a Google Form survey and then send  it to collect much data about any topic .  For example, one group of  Health students create a healthy food checklist of how many servings  (0, ,1 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9) of vegetables, fruits, meat, etc. people actually eat each day and an age range of the person such as 5-9, 10-15, 16-20, …  The students send it out to their friends, etc. and within 48 hours they have over 400 responses which Google Forms automatically tabulates for them. They prepare a mini-presentation about the results.

The leaders will show teachers how their students can use Google images to contrast visual information important to subject area learning.  As an illustration,  students in groups of two may search for Geography and each group has a  different country in South America such as Geography Venezuela, Geography Colombia, etc.  Students can find images that show ocean, rivers,  mountains, plains, etc.  The students do human graphs of geography.  The student group from Venezuela picks a geographic feature  from its country such as mountains. All the groups that have mountains in their country raise their hands.  Then, the next country Colombia picks a different geography such as ocean. Again, all the groups that have ocean raise their hands.  This continues until all the geographic features have been covered. The teacher keeps a chart on the board with the number of countries having the same feature. Students discuss the chart and its implication.

What high level uses of mobile learning will your teachers use?

I have many Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers:

My formative assessment books:

Replace Glogster Posters with Free QR code Poster

Many educators like Glogster since students can put in links to videos, music, and pictures instead of just text.  As a  free alternative, students can create a QR poster as their learning  poster.  Their poster can be a regular one page word processing document.

The students type in their project title and their name.  They can use their favorite font, font size and color.  They can even change the background color (Format ->page -> background in Open Office).

They decide on the content for their poster.  If they are doing a country report, they may have links showing a map of where the country is, its geography, and its  major cities. The students can shorten the links using and then use a QR generator such as Create QR code  to put all of these links in the same QR code. They can select a small 100 x 100 or 150 x 150 so they can put numerous QR codes on the same page. They can label this QR as country info and list under it  location, geography, and cities.  The student can include a picture in under the  Creative Commons license.   They can find three news articles talking about some of the current issues in the country, shorten these links and put them in one QR code. They may label this QR  as current events.  They may  want to list the actual  events under that QR code.  They can find some songs and art of the country, shorten these links and put in another QR code which they label as Arts and again indicate the exact topics in that QR code. They repeat this process for any other topics such as economy, neighbors, tourist sites both for people within the country and  for visitors, or literacy

They can word process their evaluation of  how the country has changed (for the better or for the worse)  in the last fifty years and  what they think will happen to this country in the next fifty  years.

They can email it to you, post it on a class wiki, physically post it in a country gallery in the room, and email it to parents and relatives.  If you have a country gallery in your room, students groups can compare and contrast the countries within a continent and then compare and contrast countries among the continents.

Which type posters will your students use to show their learning?

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:

Open-ended questions for higher level answers in Web 2.0

Often times teachers  ask many  closed-ended questions (lower level questions) about a learning goal and then they are surprised when they get lower level answers back.  Close-ended question usually begin with question words like “Who…?” as in “Who invented the ….?”,  “When ….?” as in “When did she invent …?,   “Where….?” as in “Where is Spain? ” and “What …?” as in “What  is the capital of New York?”.  In order to get higher level answers, one needs to ask big powerful questions.  These questions can be essential or critical questions; they can be open-ended questions which have many possible correct answers.   Open-ended questions often start with “Why….?” as in “Why do you think solar energy is better than water energy?”, “What..?” such as “What are the differences between ….?” and “How….?” such as “How are these two wars similar?”  When students think there is only one right answer, they limit their thinking.  Most real life problems do not have one right answer.

Here are some examples:

Texting in Social Studies:

Closed-ended question:  What does “occupy” mean?  There are a fixed number of answers. Once the students answer the question, they are done. They realize that the teacher has a specific  definition in mind and they try to guess it.

Open-ended question: How are the “occupy” movements in the USA similar or different to the “occupy” movements in Europe? Students can answer this question in many different correct  ways and, then, discuss their various answers. They widen their learning as they hear  the different responses. They consider aspects they had not thought about.

Wiffiti in English:

Close-ended questions:  Who did Don Quixote persuade to join him?   The  answer to this question is a factual answer. Once a student says the name of the person, he/she is done with learning.

Open-ended question?  What would Don Quixote have to offer you for you to join him?  Again, students will have a wide variety of correct answers. They see that the answer to this question goes far beyond the book.  What do other  people in your life offer you to join them? Do you join them?  Open-ended questions lead to powerful answers about the learning goal and about life.

Let’s ask open-ended higher level questions instead of closed-ended lower level thinking questions with our Web 2.0 tools.

Why Cell Phones and Smart Phones Differ from Previous School Technology

Cell phones and Smart phones differ drastically from previous school technology.

1.  The students know how to use these technologies. They use them daily. They text, they take pictures and send the pictures, they take videos/movies and send them, and they access the web. Teachers do not have to spend class time in teaching students the new technologies. Even when teachers “teach” a new program such as Yodio, the students already know how to take pictures, upload them to a program, know how to record their voice and how to send their voice files. Teachers save all the time they used to spend in teaching how to use a new technology which often was many days.

2.  The students always have these mobile learning devices with them. They may forget their notebook. They may leave their textbook home. They may be without a pen. Their dog may have eaten some critical papers. They may have lost their password onto the class website. However, they will have their cell phone or Smart phone with them.

3. The students can use their own mobile learning devices. The school does not have to provide it except possibly for a few disadvantaged students. Teachers can do lessons regardless of the various types of mobile learning devices (the various companies that produce the phones) and of the various carriers. The school does need to provide access to the school’s wireless.
4. With QR codes, students can be a click away from learning resources. Students do not have to turn on a computer, log in, and then type in a web address. Many students have trouble typing in a web address even when the web address has been shortened. The student instantly go from scanning in the QR code to clicking on the link(s). Class learning time is saved.
5. Students can easily be producers of information. They can take pictures to document environmental concerns in their community and make those into a multimedia story such as with Yodio. They can audio record the interview of various people as they talk about the importance of math in their careers. The students can make a movie about the various healthy habits of their family and friends for their physical education course. They have these tools on their phones and they know how to use the tools.

6.  Due to the richness of  web resources, teachers can move students to higher level thinking. Students can easily contrast two images of the same incident for an English class. They can evaluate the bias in reporting the same story as they read newspapers from around the globe in a Social Studies class.

7.   Students can be global in their learning.  Texting can be done  internationally. Students can text a science survey about using paper in school  to their friends in other states and other countries.  Elementary students can text math word problems  which students in other countries have written in terms of things in their country. For example, a school in Costa Rica migh offer this problem, “If you are really hungry and you buy a “casado” (rice and meat dish) for 2,500 colones and a fruit drink for 400 colones, how much do you spend? What is that in USA money?

RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior ( Equally important, a letter […]
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]

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