Mobile devices in class

This guide from Edutopia provides tips for using smartphones, tablets, and other devices “to get students more engaged with learning.” http://bit.ly/mobile-learning-guide

And, here’s a line from UC Berkeley’s teaching e-list re: students missing class: “If we can’t offer a class session that’s the most rewarding thing a student could be doing at a given hour, it’s our pedagogy that needs work.”

Discuss.

online discussion/brainstorming — tools?

I am starting a new unit in my reading and composition class next week. We have read some articles and listened to some speeches about immigration reform. Now I am going to ask students to take a position on Obama’s Executive Order — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

I’d like to get a discussion/debate/brainstorm going online — reasons to support or oppose the Order, refutation or concessions of oppositional points, questions for clarification, possible theses and qualifications, links to some relevant sources, etc.

I have used bSpace Forums (UC Berkeley’s course management system’s discussion tool) in the past, but this tool is a bit clunky and a bit too linear to allow for a true brainstorm.

Suggestions so far from colleagues: Piazza and Mindmeister. Has anyone used these tools for a purpose similar to the one I describe above? Has anyone used a different tool? Suggestions?

Take 1

Wanting to move my reading and composition class into the 21st century, or perhaps the late 20th century, I want to start using more digital tools.  But, I want to make sure that I use tools in the most pedagogically beneficial way.  Why, for example, a blog and not just a forum on our course management system (bSpace)?  What makes it qualitatively and/or quantitatively different re: student outcomes/benefits?

Ping.