At this point most of our students have access to some sort of mobile phone. Are you using these in your instruction? I have met teachers who send text messages to their students and have found tools that allow teachers to contact many students at once, but the idea of individualized instruction via cell phone has always seemed like it could be very time consuming. And that’s where Cell-Ed comes in.
Cell-Ed uses simple or smart cell phones to deliver short 3-7 minute ESOL lessons for Hispanic adult learners that combine into a 25-hour course. Students just call a phone number and learn through interactive audio and text lessons.
Cell-Ed recently added a new literacy service to help Hispanic immigrants workers learn to read and write in Spanish first. They also have a Citizenship line in English (for any immigrant language group) to help immigrants learn the 100 questions on the Naturalization Exam.
Cell-Ed is free if you use the pre-recorded content. You can also pay to be able to add your own content.
The Cell-Ed demo I went through began with calling this number 213.223.7323 (try it yourself). A recorded woman’s voice welcomed me and told me that I would be receiving a text message. The voice also explained that I had to stay on the call while the text messages came in so that the voice on the phone can give me directions on what to do with each text.
The first text message asked for my name and organization. I responded and the a 2nd message arrived that said ” __________are you from?” ” I’m from Mexico” and gave me the choice of What, When, Who, or Where.
The interface was intuitive. The only challenge was to listen to the call and look at the text message screen at the same time–which meant that I put the call on speaker, so others around me could hear too. This could be remedied easily with headphones.
You can learn more about the project in the video below.
While Cell-Ed could be used to extend work done in the classroom, it seems like a particularly rich tool for prospective students who are waiting to enter a class or students who live far away from a program and cannot meet in person often or at all.