Collaborative Learning: Infusion Level

9-12 Lesson

Cellphones: Tools at Hand

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Grade Level


Classroom Configuration

  • Whole group activity, with individuals or small groups using personal cellphones
    • Modification: If students are not allowed or cannot use cellphones this activity can be done using computers, laptops, or other handheld devices.

Arizona State Content Standards

  • Social Studies
    • Strand 2: World History
      • Concept 1: Research Skills for History
        • PO 3. Formulate questions that can be answered by historical study and research
        • PO 4. Construct graphs, tables, timelines, charts, and narratives to interpret historical data.
        • PO 5. Evaluate primary and secondary sources for:

a. authors’ main points
b. purpose and perspective
c. facts vs. opinions
d. different points of view on the same historical event (e.g., Geography
Concept 6 - geographical perspective can be different from economic
e. credibility and validity

      • Concept 8: World at War
        • PO 4: Examine the period between WWI and WWII
        • PO 5: Analyze aspects of WWII
        • PO 6: Examine genocide as a manifestation of extreme nationalism in the 20th Century.


Common Core State Standards: ELA Literacy in History/Social Studies
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary
sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and
secondary sources.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources,
using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under
study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from
texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful,
well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
b. Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making
(e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of
alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.
c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the
current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate
others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and

Arizona Educational Technology Standards (2009)

  • Creativity and Innovation
    • Concept 4: Original Works
      • PO 1: Create innovative products or projects using digital tools to express original ideas.
  • Research and Information Literacy
    • Concept 2: Processing
      • PO 4: Synthesize research information to create new understanding and innovative solutions.


  • Student teams of 2 will research Hitler’s mastery of propaganda and powers of persuasion.
  • Teams will collaborate and reflect on a picture of Hitler broadcasting a radio program in WWII.
  • Teams will theorize how Hitler became so influential and persuaded millions to follow him.
  • Teams will use cellphones to text answers to the teacher which will displayed on the board via an online tool that will display multiple feeds to one screen.

*Note: If students do not have a SMS text messaging plan on their cellphones, have them team up with a student that does.

  • Class discussion of Hitler’s dictatorship of Germany in WWII.
    • Students record key questions that this discussion generates.
    • Using their cellphones, students text their questions to the teacher.
    • Using (or similar site) teacher displays the questions up on the screen for the class to see.
  • Define propaganda and the power of persuasion
  • View archival footage about the life of Adolph Hitler at Discovery Channel,

How Stuff

  • Show picture, Adolph Hitler at a radio in World War II. from Discovery Streaming.
  • Ask, “What was the impact of his radio address?” “Was radio then like radio now?” “TV?” “The Internet?”
  • In teams of 2 students,
    • Select a question from class discussion to use as their Driving Question.
    • Research Hitler on the cellphones, using both primary and secondary sources.
    • Theorize how Hilter was able to rise to such terrifying power and rule most of Europe for 4 years
    • Using your cellphones, text your theory to the teacher.
  • Using, PollEverywhere, or similar site, teacher displays the text messages up on the screen for the class to see.
  • Teams create a Mind Map of the theories. Students choose which tool to use.
  • Display/share each team’s mind map.
  • Build a collaborative class Mind Map of the theories.
    • Students choose which tool to use.
    • Must cite source(s) for theory.
  • Individuals and teams support their theories on the mind map through a class discuss. Identify patterns or connections for the theories of persuasion.



Student and teacher created rubric for team mind map

Technology Integration Matrix





Goal Directed