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Grade Smarter

6 Strategies on How To Better Use Electronic Devices in Class

As mentioned in last week’s article, this week we will discuss how educators can use electronic devices in class in a more positive manner.

Here are the six strategies to use electronic devices in class in a more positive manner:

  • Targeted Electronic Activities – As explored below, inviting students to utilize their devices for specific learning activities involving polls, note taking, Twitter, or collaboration can channel the desire to engage with devices, recognize the realities in students’ social lives, and teach how those realities can enable more effective learning practices. 
  • Integrating of Polling Software – Online programs such as Poll Everywhere(link is external) allow instructors to ask questions as a formative assessment to monitor student learning. Students can quickly respond to polls using their mobile phones.  
  • Student Note Taking – Some students may desire to take notes on their laptops or other devices. Research suggests that writing notes out by hand is more effective than by computer (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014); however, collaborative or shared note taking strategies may be easier with electronic devices. 
  • Student Research – For courses in which students must find primary or secondary sources, access to online library databases and other resources is often imperative.  
  • Student Collaboration – A variety of tools can be used for collaboration in the classroom. For example, a Google Doc (link is external)is a web-based tool that can be edited by all students at the same time, making it appealing for group work. 
  • Implementation of Active Learning Exercises – Active learning exercises may require students to access online websites and tools to perform group activities like concept mapping, surveys, or class-time research.

Tune in next week for our last part of this three part post!

Mark Espinola
CEO + Founder of GradeHub




Mueller PA & Oppenheimer DM. (2014). The Pen is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking. Psychological Science 25(6):1159-1168.
Al-Bahrani, A., and Patel, D. (2015). Incorporating Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook in Economics Classrooms. Journal of Economic Education 46.1: 56-67.
Chawinga, W. (2017). Taking social media to a university classroom: teaching and learning using Twitter and blogs. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 14.1: 1-19
Jacquemin, S., Smelser, L., and Bernot, M. (2014). Twitter in the Higher Education Classroom: A Student and Faculty Assessment of Use and Perception. Journal of College Science Teaching 43.6: 22-27.