Fighting Fire

with Fire:
Cellphones to
not Distract
from ESL
in the BYOD
Courtney Elizabeth King
Central Michigan
Is it reliable?
Can all of my students easily access it?
Do my students gain something from it?
Does it merge with my other activities naturally?
Is it easy to learn with minimal language/vocab?*
Will it help my students in the future?
Does it help me meet my objectives?
Courtney Elizabeth King 2016

Arguments against app use:
Gary Stager, an educator who pushed America to buy laptops for every
student, notably called BYOD the worst invention of the 21st century on his
blog (and has been repeatedly quoted since) (2011)
End, Worthman, Matthews, and Wetterau (2010) conducted a study
that proved that a cellphone ring (or even vibration) can significantly reduce
the ability for all students in the classroom to learn. They suggest that
cellphones should be banned from classrooms entirely (p. 57).
Arguments that support app use (in education):
Ferriter (2010) aptly states that “efforts to eliminate cell phone use are also
short-sighted, especially in an era when fewer dollars are available for
classroom supplies” (p. 85).
Samsiah & Azidah (2013) argued that a resource as ubiquitous as the
smartphone must be utilized by educators in order to stay relevant.
Larry D. Rosen (2010) suggests that students today have been “rewired” and
demand the use of technology in the classroom if we want them to remain
Arguments that support app use (in TESOL):
Al-Okaily (2014) found that “a BYOD policy is both practical and can be
effectively implemented in an English Language Program” (p. 3).
Cakir (2015) suggested that when students can access English learning
resources at any time from any where, they become more likely to do so in
their free time.
Brown (2014) argued that English language teachers should develop a theoryinformed stance on cellphone use in their classrooms, cautioning against either
extreme (complete prohibition or a cellphone free-for-all).
Studies that support app use (in TESOL):
Gabarre, Gabarre, Din, Shah and Karim (2014) conducted a learnercentered study in a foreign language classroom in which students were
overwhelmingly in favor of the use of iPads.
Wu (2014) found that a group of students that used a vocabulary learning app
(WordLearning) instead of traditional study methods significantly
outperformed the control group in vocabulary recognition.
Courtney Elizabeth King 2016

App Summaries

Free or


• Import PPT, Keynote
• Quizzes and Polls
• Twitter feeds
• Drawings
• Short answer
• PDF reports
• All-in-one presentation/play/
assess/survey tool
• Review guide
• Group assessment
• Homework

Try It!

Download Nearpod
from your app store
Tap “Join”
Type in this code:


Wait for me to
navigate to the next

• Polls (anonymous)
• Quizzes (name or ID)
• Download report as .xlsx, Try It!
.pdf, Google Sheet
• Download Socrative
Student from your app
• Download or upload to
store OR go to
Google Drive folder in your
• Reliable Web, Android and
web browser.
iOS apps
• Where it says “Room
Name” type this code:
• Polls
• Quizzes
• Type in your name.
• Exit tickets
• After you type an answer,
scroll down to hit submit
• Midterm or quarter
in order to move on to
progress reports
the next question.
• Group member feedback


Courtney Elizabeth King 2016

App Summaries
Try It!

• Students upload videos
• Students upload photos
• Students upload audio
• Exceptionally simple interface
• Web, Android and iOS apps


Courtney Elizabeth King 2016

• Speaking exercises
• Record yourself pronouncing
words as a model
• Photograph student work
• Record audio of students
practicing pronunciation
• Provide casual comments before
providing feedback

• Paper-based clicker
• Requires only one device:
the teacher’s
• Only anonymous option is
to code students names
• Only A, B, C, D options


• Polls
• Quizzes
• Exit tickets
• Attendance

Download SeeSaw
Learning Journal
from your app store.
Select “Student”
Scan this QR Code:

Record a video of
someone nearby
talking about their
favorite teaching
Tag their name (on
their laminated

• Try It!

Look at your
laminated card.
You have all been
given a name. Check
for your name on
the scoreboard.
When you rotate
your card, it selects
A, B, C, or D
When the letter is
upright, it is selected.
Try it!

Known Issues
• Not all students have internet• If you don’t feel comfortable trying
connected devices (if they don’t,
these methods, you do not have to
you can’t have a BYOD classroom,
try them. Your students can tell if
but you can use Plickers!).
its uncomfortable and they won’t
• Students with newer devices will
follow along as excitedly as they
have fewer problems accessing
might if you present it with pride
and confidence.
• It takes practice.Your
Technology Glitches
cat/significant other/mirror will
• Technology fails us sometimes.
hate you for it.
And always at the worst times.
• It will be perfect when you
practice it for your cat/significant
• You need the time it takes to
other/mirror. Everything will go
practice and get good at it. Most
wrong the next day.
of us don’t have that time.
• Have a back-up plan!
• Youtube is there for you.

The TAC Test
When you show the
technology to your least
tech-savvy colleague, can they
use it?
If so, you’re probably safe to
use it in the classroom!

Courtney Elizabeth King 2016

Which Technology is Best for the Situation?




Presentations with Embedded Quizzes

Presentations with Embedded Polls



Exit Tickets

Presentations given outside of class

Filming student discussion

Posting presentations

Submitting photos of homework

Al-Okaily, R. (2013). Device neutral assignments for mobile learning in an
English language classroom. QScience Proceedings, 29.
Brown, J. (2014). Teachers’ Stances on Cell Phones in the ESL Classroom:
Toward a “Theoretical” Framework. TESL Canada Journal. Retrieved
Cakir, I. (2015). Opinions and Attitudes of Prospective Teachers for the Use of
Mobile Phones in Foreign Language Learning. Contemporary Educational Technology.
Retrieved from /635.pdf
End, C. M., Worthman, S., Matthews, M. B., Wetterau, K. (2010). Costly
cellphones: The impact of cell phone rings on academic performance.
Teaching of Psychology, (37), 55-57.
Ferriter, W. M. (2010). Cellphones as teaching tools. Educational
Leadership, 68(2), 86-86.
Gabarre, C., Gabarre, S., Din, R., Shah, P. M., Karim, A. A. iPads in the foreign
Courtney Elizabeth King
language classroom: A learner’s perspective 3L: The Southeast Asian
Journal of English Language Studies, 20(1), 115–128.
Haintz, C., Pichler, K. & Ebner, M.(2014). Developing a web-based questiondriven audience response system supporting BYOD. Journal of Universal
Computer Science, 20(1), 39-56.
Melhuish, K. & Falloon, G. (2010). Looking to the future:
M-learning with the iPad: Computers in New Zealand Schools: Learning,
Leading, Technology, 22(3).
Rosen, L. D. (2010). Rewired. New York: Palgrave-McMillan.
Samsiah, B., & Azidah, A. Z. (2013). Adoption and application of mobile learning
in the education industry. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 90, 720-729.
Stager, G. (2010, October 8). BYOD – Worst Idea of the 21st Century?
Retrieved from:
Wu, Q. (2014). Learning ESL Vocabulary with Smartphones. Procedia - Social
and Behavioral Sciences, 143, 302–307. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.409

Contact Me

Courtney Elizabeth King 2016