Currently, I am at cyber discovery camp. I’m living at Portland State University with another teacher and 6 students. We are using cel.ly to improve our group communication. I am able to send out documents, such as an essay prompt. I can take photos throughout the camp to serve as a virtual photo album. I can set-up timed announcements in advance to remind students of a session with a room number or a reminder to put the lights out and to go to bed. We can improve our groups dynamics by sending our positive announcements and encouragement. My students can choose how they want to receive the announcements. It can go to their cellphone as a text, to social media like facebook, or to an e-mail address.

Cell phones can be  powerful learning tools. As a social studies teacher, I believe it is my responsibility to prepare students for college and career in 2014. The use of technology is a life skill that will be required. It is important for my students know how to use electronic devices in a safe manner.Cel.ly has changed my classroom! By integrating cel.ly into the classroom, I am able to model how I use social networking and technology in a professional manner.

Cel.ly also encourages students who need more time to process to share their thinking with peers. I enjoy using cel.ly to have students post connections, questions, and reactions to our class discussions.  I have used cel.ly during fishbowl conversations, as a virtual thesis wall, as a feedback wall to post questions and connections while watching video clips, and to provide immediate feedback to students in my classroom.

I find Cel.ly is most valuable when sharing classroom announcements and reminders with students and parents. Many parents in my community do not have cellular minutes, but have unlimited text messaging. When I offered parents the opportunity to communicate with me over text message, it opened new doors of communication.

Cells phones are only permitted to be used in my class with parent approval. When I sent home my permission slip to use technology in the classroom, I found that most parents reacted positively. They are often excited and eager to participate in our classroom cel.ly polls. Many share an appreciation to get an insight to student learning.

Some of my students have cell phones and a few students bring their own devices including tablets and laptops to school. Since some of my students do not own electronic devices, I use cel.ly as an optional or extended learning tool. Cel.ly is just like any other learning tool in my class. It’s a tool to enhance student engagement and learning. Students only have cell phones out for a specific learning goal, such as recording and sharing evidence from text, brainstorming thesis statements, making connections while watching a documentary, or to poll the class.

In Summary, some ways to use Cel.ly in the classroom:

  • Quick Communication with Parents.  My entire parent subscribers can receive important messages in just minutes of my time. Low-income parents who can’t afford cellphone minutes might have free internet based text messaging. Cel.ly can help improve the home to school connection.
  • Safe Communication with Students (Clubs, Announcements)
    • Amazing for clubs or field trips.
  • Strategies In the classroom
    • Silent Discussion
    • Warm-Up Polls
    • Virtual Thesis Wall
    • Socratic Discussion, FishBowl Discussion, Bring quiet or IEP students who need more time to process into the discussion.
    • While watching Videos it serves as a real time feedback loop. While watching the video, students can engage in discussion and keep track of evidence to use later
  • Cel.ly is teacher friendly and is always coming out with new features such as the document attachment

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