Mobile Phones, Mobile Minds

Poem: My Study Side Kick

StudyBoost is a great buddy
That helps when you need to study,
You can use it on the go
And learn what you don’t already know.

You can get it through texts or IMs
Faster than a sneeze full of phlegm,
It’s a digital educational aid
It will get your brain info-laid,
Say no more to cards of flash
It’ll save you a lot of cash,
You’ve got to stay in school
If you want to be cool,
Don’t be an ignorant fool
It’s an innovative study tool,
If you’re being tested on reading
You can study while feeding,
If you’re being quizzed on the states
You can study while on a boring date,
You can study for the Bar
While riding in a hover car,
You can study until dawn
While you’re sitting on the john,
You can study while applying make up
While you text message break up,
Study while you’re having fun
Or out and busy on the run,
Study while dancing at the club
Or while drinking at the pub.

So get your head out of a book
And give a look,
The site is easy and a pleasure
Get this cutting edge mobile treasure.

Pictures of the week

Working on StudyBoost Questions at SIGOL PreCon

Working on StudyBoost Questions at SIGOL PreCon

Trying out StudyBoost at SIGOL PreCon

Trying out StudyBoost at SIGOL PreCon

Sisters working on StudyBoost

Sisters working on StudyBoost

Why StudyBoost Should Be Everybody’s Friend is known for the interactive SMS technology that helps students study via mobile phone. Students also have the option to use this same technology via popular chat and IM systems, including Facebook.

The setup is fairly simple. Enable Facebook in your profile, (under Manage / Messaging Tools,) and then add ‘Study Boost’ as a friend in Facebook. Once added, you can open up a chat box within Facebook at any time and go through a batch of questions. The StudyBoost chat persists in an open state. Meaning, that you can open up a chat box with StudyBoost and resume your activated batch of questions at anytime. This works great for students that have multiple chat windows open at the same time, carrying on multiple chats.
Currently does not support Facebook group chat. However, a group study session can be conducted by having a designated quiz master that copies the questions from a Study Boost chat window into a group chat. The quiz master can then judge the answers or provide clues to the group. This is a great way to foster student collaboration.

I think everyone can agree that ideal studying conditions for a student would not include multitasking with Facebook chat. However, enables students to make, (what would usually be,) unproductive time slices into little bits of learning. Perhaps by integrating studying with Facebook, a student may then develop a habit that integrates learning into life?

Student Collaboration with Google Docs and

Student Collaboration with Google Docs and

Instructors have often asked students to submit their own exam questions. This same technique can be used to build a batch of questions. With the help of Google Docs, the process can be streamlined.

Embed a Google Form into a web page to collect questions from students. After all of the questions have been collected, copy the columns with the questions and answers and paste into a new batch at

Tools Used: Google Docs, (Forms and Spreadsheet), web page (blog or LMS), and

Create a blank web page for this assignment in your Learning Management System or class web site. (If you don’t have a class web site, create one with Blogger, WordPress or Google sites.)

With Google Docs, create a new form with fields for a student to submit a StudyBoost Question and an Answer. You may want to include a Name field on your form, (if student names are not collected automatically on submit.) Select an appropriate field type for the length of each response item. For example, I use a Question Type of Paragraph text for a longer fields, such as the question and Text for short answers and names. I chose to select each form item as required, to ensure that a student would not forget to add an answer or their name. Don’t forget to add help text to remind students of message length restrictions or other instructions.


Once your form is created. Copy the embed code through the More actions menu.


Back to your web or blog page, get into edit mode and paste the Google Form embed code where you want the form to appear. (Note: You must be in html or source edit mode in order to paste the raw embed code.) Preview your web page and your form should now be ready for students to submit study questions and answers.

“That’s great, but…”
How to ensure that students won’t submit similar questions and answers? How to promote originality and varied responses? If your assignment simply asks for “study questions,” you are likely to receive variations of a few simple, easy questions that did not require much thought.

Some methods that can promote better questions:
1. Assign small groups of students specific content areas or pages to create question forms.
2. Allow students to review the existing set of contributed questions.

For the latter, you can embed the results spreadsheet into the Google form page. In my example, I selected to only display the column which contained the questions, (hiding the answers and student names.) My instructions remind the student of the need for originality to receive full credit, and I direct them to review previously submitted questions.

“OK, now what?”
After the students have completed the assignment, you can review the spreadsheet for accuracy and grade the individual entries. Once the questions are ready, you just copy the question and answer columns form the Google spreadsheet and paste into a new batch at Your students now have a batch of study questions that they all had a part in creating.

CNN: Texting to Learn – How it works – Enables students to study interactively using text messaging and instant messaging. This video shows you how to:
1. Add StudyBoost as a friend
2. Interact with your questions and answers using keywords
3. How to set messaging settings such as random order, time delay and more

RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms

This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.
For more information on Sir Ken’s work visit:

Social Media Week – Integrating Text Messaging into Websites

Watch live streaming video from smw_newyork_google at

Technology in schools – Justin Tarte

Justin Tarte asks students at Seckman High School in Imperial, MO, about their feelings toward technology in schools…here is what they had to say…