Okay, let's be honest. We are muddling through this topic in most schools, unsure of the best way to use or not use cell phones, tablets, iPods, iPads, and other mobile devices. If the school offers free WiFi for school use then maybe we should think proactively instead of re-actively. How can we turn the mobile device into an instrument of productivity?
Here are some thoughts and interesting websites:
1. A source of unlimited information to verify scientific claims.Students should be able to triangulate their supporting information of any scientific claim using reputable websites. The Media Awareness Network offers resources to teach media literacy: Media Awareness Network
2. A great tool to teach scientific literacy. Use Skeptic - Promoting Science and Critical Thinking: http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/
3. An easy polling tool for those websites that use texting for responses. Use Poll Everywhere: http://www.polleverywhere.com/
4. QR codes can be used as quick links to websites, a virtually weightless dichotomous key on a field trip.
QR codes can be attached to simple structures linking students to the physics of the device or the chemical or biological applications. Check out http://qrineducation.com/ to get started. Or checkout 40 ways to use QR codes in the classroom: http://thoughtsontechnologyintegration.blogspot.com/2011/03/40-interesting-ways-to-use-qr-codes-in.html
5. So many great apps for science that are highly engaging for students. http://teachwithyouripad.wikispaces.com/Science+Apps
6. Mobile devices have built in GPS so that students can engage in scavenger hunts or geocaching. Check out geocaching: http://www.geocaching.com/
GPS lesson plans: http://www.gis2gps.com/GPS/lessonplans/gpsplans.htm
7. Photography - really observing the nature of science and capturing the images! Use Wonderpoints as a structure for engaging curiosity: http://www.slideshare.net/bdodge/wonderpoints-a-framework-for-building-curiosity
Cut and paste this link as it describes the process well: https://instructionaldesignfusions.wordpress.com/tag/wonderpoints/
8. Built in accelerometer for physics experiments. Check out: http://scienceblogs.com/dotphysics/2010/04/review_of_some_iphone_accelera.php
9. Useful wait time, instead of useless wasted time.
10. Just in time learning. The level of engagement will skyrocket!