Cell phones in the classroom!

Dr. Jane Collins led a workshop for writing teachers suggesting that instead of framing cell phones as devices that interrupt learning, we instead find ways for cell phones to enhance learning.


Dr. Jane Collins leads a workshop for writing teachers

Here are notes I took during the discussion portion of the workshop—lots of good ideas for how faculty might use cell phones in their writing classes.

  • Use phone for audio recording of an interview or video; used to collect data and then analyze it; reflect on this process and what it means to review the data*
  • Poll Everywhere used to get everyone involved, often with T/F or Y/N responses and a follow-up—did you enjoy the reading? why?
  • Poll Everywhere also used for reflection
  • Use Poll Everywhere for students to survey the class and use that research as data to analyze
  • Students who don’t have laptops use cellphones
  • Use phones for quick searches when class wants to know info
  • Taking photos of peer review feedback that was provided so the writer and the peer reviewer both had the peer review work
  • Use camera to frame a situation (to get ENG 120 students to think about essay on framing race and class in the news, how framing is achieved visually vs. in written text)
  • Create audio recording of peer review to discuss, create some distance from the peer review
  • Use Pace’s access to New York Times to help students follow news stories based on their interests, generate topics for scholarly research
  • Breaks down idea that what we do in our daily lives is separate from our scholarly interests and research—can recognize that we use phones to engage in discourse communities, to construct versions of ourselves to present to others
  • In minutes, it’s possible to find a scholarly article on Pace’s library site and create an MLA or APA citation using an EasyBib app

*Forgive my lack of parallelism in the bulleted list. These are my actual notes with minimal editing.

Hope you like some of the ideas. If you implement any, give feedback on what worked and what didn’t in the comments below. Also consider adding your own ways of using cell phones in the classroom. We love crowd-sourcing ideas!







Writing Center Research at Pace

This past weekend, the annual convention of the Northeast Writing Centers Association was held at Pace University in Pleasantville thanks to Dr. Robert Mundy of Pace’s English Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 10.17.24 PMDepartment, along with a whole team of folks who worked hard to make the event successful.

Writing centers are prime sites of writing, research, conversation, critical thinking, learning, debate, collaboration, and laughter. The conference weekend mirrored these activities with high energy from scholars of all ages.

Mr. Michael Turner, Writing Center Coordinator, and Dr. Rob Mundy worked on research projects with three undergraduate consultants from Pace’s Writing Center. Undergraduate writing consultant Gisele Cole researched the nuances of required writing center visits in her presentation: “Not Just About the Horses: Faculty and Student Perceptions of Required Tutoring.”

Undergraduate writing consultants Alexandra Franciosa and Alexa Blanco worked with Michael Turner and Rob Mundy in an investigation of the role of the writing center for nontraditional female students negotiating a time of change. Their well-received presentation was titled “Neither This Nor That: Non-traditional Female Students’ Views on Identity and Writing While in Transition.”

Kudos to these student scholars and to all who participated in the conference.

Get a better sense of the high-energy conference happenings via the Storify slideshow of highlighted tweets!