This Web 2.0 tool is particularly interesting for educators because it allows for communication with students and parents via text messaging. Celly’s rich suite of tools for schools offers the following features:
- Moderated messaging so students can help each other and ask questions with guidance from the teacher. It can also be used to establish study groups called "cells" where a constant activity stream is generated. This stream also becomes searchable. I like the fact that cells can be established by a teacher and used for threaded discussions or by students to collaborate on homework or projects. Groups can also be created for specific clubs/activities or to manage field trips.
- Polling for instant evaluation and clicker replacement. I am a huge fan of using mobile learning devices (i.e. student cell phones) in class as part of an anticipatory set, to review prior learning, to check for understanding and/or assess, or as a form of closure.
- Establish an interactive wall during class, assembly, or movie to increase engagement.
- Ability to send alerts, notices, and reminders.
- Increase community engagement and enhance outreach by creating cells to gather information on aspects relevant to your school.
- Built-in feature that can be used to take notes.
- Versatility in access. Celly is accessible from the Internet, SMS (text message), and email. It also works on any type of cell phone.
- Phone numbers and emails are never shared or exchanged
- Best of all it's a free service.
With over 1 million text messages sent last month Celly is growing fast. They are even about to release an Android app. To learn more about Celly and to get started creating your own cells click this link. You can also check out this tutorial or the video below to get started quickly and easily.