Smartphones & Learning possibilities in the EFL class

Do you ban the use of phones in the class or do you embrace the technology? How can you use the smart phone as a teaching and learning tool?
mobile as a tool for learning

 Some data on mobile usage growth

 21st century classroom infographic

Six hours a day. That’s how much time the average teenager spends online, according to a June 2013 study by McAfee. These are “digital natives,” a generation that has grown up online and connected. source: Forbes,2/28/2014

 Mobile devices & Learning purpose

When designing a class for students of English as a foreign language, it is certainly a current practice to have the communicative goals and cultural aspects tailored to meet the students’ needs.

The use of the tech resource is not supposed to replace that, it comes as a helping and engaging tool.

Allow me to share findings from my classroom experience over the course of four years.

I teach mostly teenagers and adult learners in a language school environment.

I have witnessed  that their engagement and interest is huge.

 Apps for Classroom use


Learning Goal

Resource Link

To create interactive quizzes :   


Both have the principles of gamification and allow immediate feedback.

To work with collaboration :

Google Docs (It’s like Microsoft Word, but with the added benefit of collaboration in real time)

Tell students to download free apps

             (iOS & Android)

*Google Drive and *Google Docs for a complete editing experience.

You can follow their interaction from your very smartphone!

Check out how it works in this video:

Mobile collaboration in class

To have students check the pronunciation of words or sentences:

(only available for Android)

Lexical book or Personal Dictionary:

This is a very effective way for students to organize the words and phrases they learn over the different levels.

To prepare a slide presentation:  

This is a very user friendly app.

Tell students to download free apps

(iOS & Android)

*Google Drive and * Google Slides

so that they can easily edit.


To have conversational prompts:

QR Code , in the option “plain text” you can type up to 120 characters and students can scan their mission!

For teachers, I recommend using a QR code generator. This is the one I use:

(choose option Static, so that you don’t have to register.

Students (iOS or Android) can have this very effective and quick

QR Code scanner:



 Learner training

From personal experience, I recommend you share the intention of inserting the use of smartphone in some phases of the lessons and the purpose in doing so. Check out what they think. Test together!

After the novelty of the first time and a consistent use, I am confident both students and teachers will benefit from the educational possibilities of technology.

Follow edtech pages on the social networks such as Facebook, Google + and Twitter. Interact with other teachers… ask for advice , share what you have learned!

Maybe that’s your tech challenge for this year... How about that?

I’m on Twitter

and Google plus

Raquel Gonzaga





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