Cooperative Learning with mobile devices

Building a collaborative environment

cooperative learningIt is all about relationships! Every great educator will tell you that. It is not about technology but building a safe environment where the students want to learn! Learning should be fun! We all know learning new content is hard work, but it can be fun as well! We all remember the joy of mastering a new skill.  In this post I would like to suggest some ways to integrate technology and cooperative learning as a way of building a collaborative environment in your class this fall. In these activities students should be able to use their own mobile devices. The Apps mentioned here are free and should be available on different platforms. Spend some time on team building in your class and you will be rewarded! To read more about cooperative learning look here.

Exercise 1 – getting to know your group

  1. Divide class in groups of 4 (allows pair work and avoids odd person out!)
  2. Line up class according to distance to school and make groups of 4
  3. When seated in their new group, let the students number up 1- 4
  4. Short introduction starting with number 1, one minute each – name, previous school, favourite subject, food and hobby.
  5. Find the fib. Students share two true facts and one made up. They present this in the group starting with number 2. Team mates are to guess what the fib is.

Exercise 2 – getting to know your school

  1. Time to get up and go! Take a tour of your school and as a group decide find a motive for your picture, it can be your favourite place, room or facility at School. Use a mobile device to take the picture! Time: 15 minutes.
  2. Go back to your classroom and start working! Use Befunky to create a zoom in shot of the picture making it difficult to see what it is.
  3. Three stray, one stay. Student 1, 2 and 3 move to different tables (one table pr. number) student 4 stays. One point for each correct guess. Group with most correct wins! Move the students to at least 3 different tables.

Exercise 3 – being creative and inventive

  1. The perfect App for teachers! The perfect App for students.
  2. Every group should have plenty of sticky notes.
  3. 3 minute think time, what could be the perfect App
  4. Start 4s brainstorming. Students record one idea on slip of paper.
  5. Read the response.
  6. Place on the table for all to see.
  7. Structure the ideas and see if you can combine ideas and come up with a team project
  8. Create a 30 second or less video that demonstrates what your App does, use magisto to do it!
  9. End activity by showing the results to the class voting for the best product
  10. Class winner gets to present App to the principle!

Exercise 4 – getting to know the other students in the class

  1. Find someone who – use this form  or make your own (print out in advance)
  2. Everyone needs a pen for this one. The form is only done when there are different names in all 20 sentences!
  3. Winner gets a prize!

Exercise 5 – gaining local knowledge, making a quiz

  1. In your group look up information on your school and community online. Use one of your mobile devices.
  2. In your group decide on information you think every student should know, but probably don’t!
  3. Make one QR code with question and one with answer, use QR Code Generator
  4. Print out both codes, if that is not possible, save the codes on your device
  5. Gallery tour. Groups walk around in class and scan the QR codes, write down your answer before checking the QR code for answer!

Exercise 6 – Your favourite App

  1. Each member of group thinks about favourite App to use that might be helpful during school. Activity  2 minutes .
  2. Starting with student 4 spend 2 minutes each explaining why the App is a favourite, what you can do with it that the other students might not be aware of, and how it can be used in school. Take turns.
  3. When done vote on the best App and present for the rest of the class.
  4. Vote for class favourite and If time make a QR code for the App and post on school website!

Source and inspired by Shelly Sanchez Terrell: handout at ISTE 2013.


  1. I really like reading through an article that can make people think.

    Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!

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