Cell Phones Now Enjoy a Welcome Presence in the Classroom

by Tanya Thomas on Oct 8 2008 4:01 PM

The launch of a revolutionary teaching and learning method utilizing the ubiquitous cell phone has made its presence felt in schools around New Zealand. This hi-tech teaching tool allows students to text answers to their teachers.

The new device, called Activexpression, enables teachers to ask questions on the board through a computer, and students can then text their answer through their Activexpression cell phone.

The software immediately produces a graph or chart on the board displaying the students' answers, allowing teachers to gauge the class's understanding at a glance.

A Southland Girls' High School class has already started using the technology.

"It is quite fun. It's more fun than just doing math normally or writing it out. Everybody enjoys it," the NZPA quoted Year 7 student Caitlin Wood, as saying.

Niki Davis, Canterbury University professor of e-learning, said that incorporating text messaging was just one example of the 'ecology of learning'.

"It's a tremendous opportunity. It's what students are doing these days. We can get them to engage in learning and assessment," Davis said.

"Teachers find it exciting that they can go on to the same page as the students," Davis added.

She said that the system enables teachers to immediately grasp the class's understanding of a topic.