As many of you know Cel.ly is on the top five lists of AWESOME programs I use with my students. It may even be # 1!!! No, I do not work for them, but I find it to be one of the most useful programs I use daily with my students to increase student communication and collaboration in a safe and support environment. Cel.ly is changing the face of education!
What is Cel.ly?
According to the Cel.ly website, “A cell is our term for a mobile group network. Messages and polls sent to a cell are forwarded by Celly to specified cell members. In this way, Celly users can communicate and collaborate as a group in realtime using the immedicacy and convenience of text messaging. Additionally, from the Celly website you can send and receive cell messages, polls, and access other Celly features. Celly works with any regular phone that has SMS texting, or from any web enabled device; for instance, a tablet, smartphone, or laptop.”
How I use Cel.ly with my classes?
I use Cel.ly to send text messages to my students with reminders, announcements, polls, questions, etc. Students can text me and ask me a specific question such as “what is on the test tomorrow?” or ask “what did I miss in class?” when they were sick. Cell phones have the potential to bridge the gap between the home, school, and social media world.
Interesting ideas to incorporate mobile devices into your classroom
- Create a Poll- This past fall I used Cel.ly to get instant audience feedback to a series of prompts using student cell phones. Polls can be multiple choice or an open ended responses. The responses can be posted directly on the board and are an interesting way to get instant feedback, even from your quietest students.
- Create Text Messaging Group- I have my students join Cel.ly, which is a group chatroom, where my students can communicate instantly via text messaging. I have found Cel.ly to be one of the most beneficial social media programs I use in the classroom. Students communicate more with me through the use of their cell phones compared to any other form of communication. What impressed me the most this year was the number of parents that wanted to be included on the cell phone group.
- Cell Sharing- Ask students to locate a photo, song, or video from their mobile device that best represents them. They can then pair share their selection with the class and why it was selected. (Idea from Jackie Gerstein)
- Random Question or Poll- Students can be assigned a random question from Question Cup and then post their response using Cel.ly, Wallwisher or Wifitti. Responses can be posted on the whiteboard. (Idea from Jackie Gerstein)
- Texting Interview- Students can be randomly paired together and provide them with a series of interview prompts. The pairs can text their questions and answers back and forth. The interviews can be summarized and shared with the class and posted on a sticky not board such as Wallwisher or Cel.ly. (Idea modified from Jackie Gerstein)
- Text a Friend- Students can text a friend or family member (outside of school) a question and then post the response on the whiteboard using Cel.ly, Wallwisher or Wifitti. Last year I posed the question, “What was one history event that impacted your lifetime?” I am a history teacher so this was an interesting way discuss the concept of why history matters and how my students are historians. This idea also works well with any topic. I have used text a friend multiple times such as “What do you know about Richard Nixon?” “Why was Bill Clinton impeached?” “Did you vote in the last election? Why or why not” Questions like these bring interesting and multiple perspectives into the classroom. Many family members have also commented that they enjoy the conversations afterschool about the lesson.
- QR Code Scavenger Hunt- You can design a QR code scavenger hunt for your classes to get your students moving, sharing, and bonding. Check out this simple QR Code Generator from Teacher Tools.
How can it increase parent communication?
Last fall, I encouraged parents to join my text messaging classroom group. I was surprised with the results. Of my 55 US history students, 35 of their parents participated. Parents commented that they appreciated the text message reminders about homework & tests, updates about their child’s progress, and even the in class texting activities. Parents are now more informed about how their kids are doing and are better able to help their children with their schooling, which is key to student success.
Previous Posts About Cel.ly
- Here is a previous post about Cel.ly adding email as a new addition to texting.
- Here is a previous post about mobile devices in the classroom
- Here is another post about Cel.ly adding polling
- Here is another post about making texting positive with Cel.ly