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Students use Smartphone for many different purposes. Many use the Smartphone for learning purposes in order to achieve the study objectives.

Students use Smartphones for Different Purposes

A study published in 2017, shows that in general students always used their Smartphones [1]. They use it in their homes, in recreation places, transportation, at university, and while walking.  The study found examples how the students used their Smartphones to do learning activities, namely:

  • checking the exams schedule
  • checking class timetable
  • checking grades
  • login to the university portal
  • using eLearning (LMS)
  • using it to participate in the class learning groups
  • downloading class material
  • registering courses
  • reading tutors’ announcements
  • payment of fees
  • social networking learning

In addition, the students use their Smartphone for other activities like social networking, entertainment, and ordinary calling.

How can the Teacher use the Smartphone in the Classroom?

If we move from the student view to the teachers’ view, we can ask how to use the Smartphone in the classroom. However, Smartphones are often the bane of teachers’ existence because they cause disruptions. We will not discuss that challenge in this article. We will instead point to the possibilities Smartphone technologies offer the wired classroom. You should look at the following list as some examples  [2]. You can add to many other possibilities list. Before you consider trying any of these ideas, make sure you understand the policies that are in place at your school or institution. You should, in addition,  have checked with your administrator.

Use educational apps

One of the simplest strategies for engaging students using smartphones involves taking advantage of the thousands of educational apps as supplements.

Create educational apps

After familiarizing kiddos with properly navigating smartphone apps, challenge some of the more tech-oriented ones to design and develop their own; many offer an open-source class on the subject. Lucubrate offers an eLearning platform (LMS) and training on how to use it.

Scavenger hunts

A scavenger hunt is a party game in which the organizers prepare a list defining specific items, which the participants seek to gather or complete all items on the list, usually without purchasing them.  Smartphone scavenger hunts have proven a popular pastime for technophiles, and teachers have been known to use them to provide interactive lessons about everything from natural history to nature.

Project Noah

Biology educators love transforming their students into “citizen scientists” by asking them to snap photos and videos of their wilderness find and sharing them with pros and fellow fans alike.

Send reminders

Whether through text or apps, smartphones offer greater connectivity so teachers ensure students know when assignments are due, what materials to bring, test schedules, and more.

Text message rewrites

In order to get younger readers more familiar with the ins and outs of classic texts, some intrepid educators are assigning rewrites in abbreviated speech through text messaging. Translating old stories into contemporary vernacular nurtures a greater understanding of the major themes, characters, and plotlines.

Record podcasts

With mobile audio technology, classrooms featuring podcasts can record and share their commentaries and interviews on the go


Similar to a scavenger hunt, only more involved and detailed, classroom geocaching projects encourage participants to keep the movement flowing by adding their own treasure chests for other users to track down.


Explaining smartphone potential in creating greater accessibility for special needs students is an article in and of itself, as there are myriad applications for different requirements varying in severity.

Photo: filipefrazao

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Remembering notes

Some teachers allow their students to snap photos of the chalkboard or whiteboard as class wraps up in case they couldn’t finish taking their notes fast enough.

Access textbooks

For classrooms where textbooks are available via the Internet or ebook readers, smartphones equipped with browsers and e-reading apps lower the back strain associated with toting everything around in bookbags.

QR codes

The QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode). A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. A QR code uses four standardized encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, and kanji) to store data efficiently; extensions may also be used. Create QR codes and let students scan them for quick access to class materials, supplements, and anything else they might need to earn the best grades possible.

Encourage literacy

Whether teaching ESL, special needs, or mainstream students, numerous apps, assignments, and smartphone features allow users to learn grammar, spelling, pronunciation, and other essential literacy skills.


Both teachers and students alike laud smartphones as a portable, quick, and convenient strategy for staying on top of anything and everything related to schooling.

Going paperless

Green up the classroom by converting as many class materials to digital as possible and encouraging students to store everything on their smartphones, tablets, computers, or other devices.

Preserving lectures

Shooting videos of lectures allow students who miss class or may not have caught something the first time around play catch up come exam time.

Alarms and timers

Almost every smartphone these days comes with a timer and an alarm function, so flip it on when students must complete tasks within specific temporal boundaries.

Crowdsourcing solutions

Assign each student (or, more realistically, student groups) a smartphone and ask them to network with other individuals (or groups) to share their findings of what they’ve learned with the hopes of formulating more viable approaches to classroom content.

After-school programs

Rather than spending classroom time creating smartphone applications, some schools have started offering such training as an extracurricular activity in order to build lucrative skill sets and keep students away from dangerous decisions.

Field research

Laptops are bulky, and many educators and students alike have taken to gathering research out in the field in order to better conserve their energy and available space.


Seeing as how most smartphones sync up with e-mail providers, it provides one more convenient communication conduit between teachers and students.


Instructors who love punctuating lectures with visuals like slideshows can convert their smartphones into tools for scrolling through materials.


For content unsuitable for shooting video, equip smartphone devices with the proper resources needed to draw up animations depicting anything at all – through physics and science demonstrations work nicely.

Google Maps

Available even on non-Android phones, Google Maps and similar applications provide numerous educational opportunities for geography and history classes in particular. Some teachers might even like the idea of drawing up virtual field trips students can participate in via their smartphones.


Have students draw or shoot photos of sequential images and challenge them to draw up their own stories or storyboards involving both text and visuals.


Blogging provides a wonderfully diverse tool for establishing a digital classroom, and it’s easy for teachers and students alike to post, comment, read, and follow analytics.

Critical thinking

Ask students to open up their smartphone browsers and send them to fake websites meant to nurture in them vital critical thinking skills about parsing fact from fiction on the Internet and beyond.

Emergency numbers

Because so many preschoolers and kindergartners love playing with their parents’ smartphones, some teachers have incorporated the devices into lessons about dialling their country’s respective emergency lines.


Calculators come standard on pretty much every smartphone these days, and multiple apps exist for ones that either don’t have them or lack more advanced functions. It should be fairly obvious what benefits they provide the classroom!

Grading and feedback

Not only do smartphones allow for grading on the go, text and e-mail functions mean teachers have a way to ship feedback students can’t lose (or feed to their dogs) as easily as a sheet of paper.

Memorization skills

Create and distribute digital flashcards so students can stay on top of what they need to know – or, better yet, make them write and trade their own! Research suggests that fusing technology with traditional methods helps nurture memorization skills, despite stereotypes of smartphone owners as forgetful types.

Teaching digital literacy

Responsibly using smartphones instils in students the digital literacy skills necessary to succeed in current — and, likely, the foreseeable future — job markets, so get them started as early as resources allow!


Take quick surveys of what students think and want by asking them to respond via smartphone apps designed specifically for real-time feedback.

Photo: Pixabay

Why Use Smartphones as Learning Tools?

Cell phones are different from a computer lab filled with computers or a cart of netbooks because the cell phone is personal technology. Most students have invested a great deal of time learning about the features of the cell phone, how to navigate and the limitations of the phone. The other reason to really rethink the cell phone debate is that learning on the cell phone can extend beyond the walls of the school or the confines of a class period.

This is a new time in education and with dwindling budgets, so we need to rethink possibilities, stretching every dollar. These mini-computers are walking through the doors each day, let’s put them to work.


[1] Basil Alzougoo (2017): THE USE OF SMARTPHONE FOR LEARNING ACTIVITIES BY UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN KUWAIT. Conference Paper, Conference: 4th Teaching & Education Conference, Venice

[2] TeachThought (January  2016)

Lucubrate Magazine, Issue 50, December 21st, 2018

The photo on top: Syda Productions

Categories: Magazine, Technology, eLearning, Education

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Lucubrate Magazine
Lucubrate Magazine

Lucubrate Magazine highlights trends in education and development. Development in this context can be technological, educational, individual, social or global, and everything related to education.
Lucubrate Magazine is a global based on the web magazine with the main office in Norway.

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