Smartphones in the Classroom

BYOD (Bring your own device) is a becoming a popular trend in education to help schools save money and students become familiar with the technology they already have. Discover technology ideas and classroom management policies around BYOD in this blog post from 2 Peas and a Dog.

Cellphones may or may not be permitted in your classroom. 

My students are encouraged to Bring Their Own Devices (BYOD) to school daily. 

Different Models of Cellphones in the Classroom:

  • Some teachers prefer them to be face down on the desks in the open, 
  • Other teachers prefer them to be stored in students pockets and pulled out for uses when needed
  • Other students are allowed to decide how they wish to store their device when it is not in use. 

The method of BYOD looks different in everyone's classroom depending on school rules, classroom reediness and teacher comfort level. 

  • Students can use their cellphone calender as their daily agenda. I use my cellphone calender to manage my time and appointments, so I thought why not model this strategy for my students? My class is split down the middle with half using our school issued paper agenda and the others using their laptops or cellphones as their agenda.
  • Listen to audio books or audio material of items studying in class.
  • Read e-books.
  • Take photos of white board lessons for future reference or as a writing/scribe accommodation for students.
  • Take photos of hand outs/assignment sheets - then if they get misplaced the student has a copy they can download to their computer and reprint.
  • Use Today's Meet to have students ask questions to you during your lesson or chat amongst themselves if they have questions. It is like a free chat room that is invite only by URL. 
  • Use Poll Everywhere to get the students to vote by text. Could be used as a status of the class or an exit or entrance pass. 
  • During a review lesson students could "text a friend" like Phone a Friend from who wants to be a millionaire if you can set this up with another classroom teacher.  
  • Use for Internet research for a project or daily classroom questions.
  • Record video for a presentation or project.
  • Use Apple's Siri to help students get their ideas on to paper quickly without the stress of writing for students who struggle with written output. 
  • Word process anything written: answers, essays, dot jot notes.
  • Google Maps, online atlas, online maps.
  • Use as a calculator: basic, scientific or graphing
  • Use a QR code reader app for students to get additional information stored on links. 
  • Use them as response tools for online websites like Kahoot or Plickers

Want a copy of this list? Click Here

This list is by no means exhaustive. I would love to add your ideas to this blog post. Please leave a comment below to let me know how your students use their smartphones in the classroom.


  1. Wow! I've never worked in a district that allowed cell phones, and the result of this is that they have no idea how to use them appropriately. My kids brought them to Saturday school, and they were nothing but disruptions. They just wanted to listen to music, text, and play on Facebook/Instagram. I was constantly redirecting them.

    1. Hi Erin! It takes a ton of time to teach kids how to use them appropriate. I have had the same situation as your Saturday school in summer school.

  2. What about scanning those cool QR codes? I am personally loving creating them for my students, and they supply the instant gratification my middle schoolers are so desperate for:)

    1. I need to learn more about QR codes this year!

  3. This is completely foreign to me! At what grade do students really start doing BYOD? I think any 1:1 device has so much potential for use in the classroom. Our district just isn't there yet:( It won't be long though, I'm sure! Thank you for sharing and linking up. I am going to pin for future reference:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    1. Students are allowed to bring their own items as of Grade 5 but it is not very popular until Grade 6. Many schools in my board have iPads for the primary students and they love them.

  4. I have used them as response clickers with SmartResponse (SmartTechnologies) - there are free websites & apps for that now; we have also used the cameras for TV production as we didn't have enough cameras to go around.

  5. I am so impressed with how advanced you are in your teaching and personal teenagers use them for everything, so why STOP them when they go to school, technology is the way of the future and the children know more than 98% of the teachers! This is a terrific list.
    Thanks for linking up,
    Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!
    PS....I love your new blog design! :)

    1. Fern, I was just thinking about cell phones today. What are my students going to do with their school purchased day planners?

  6. My students use their devices to read, scan QR Code and go on picture scavenger hunts. They LOVE it. Great post!
    The Techie Teacher

  7. I think this is a great idea for middle school students and up!
    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack
    Balancing the Backpack


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