Communications in Information Literacy (Feb 2013)

"Turn Your Cell Phones on": Mobile Phone Polling as a Tool for Teaching Information Literacy

  • Andy Burkhardt,
  • Sarah Faye Cohen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6, no. 2
pp. 191 – 201


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While mobile technologies are ubiquitous among students and increasingly used in many aspects of libraries, they have yet to gain traction in information literacy instruction. Librarians at Champlain College piloted mobile phone polling in a first-year classroom as a less expensive and more versatile alternative to clickers. By utilizing a technology that virtually all students have in their pockets librarians found that it increased engagement from previous iterations of the session. In addition, by asking poll questions about students' experiences, librarians were able to facilitate in-depth inquiry into information literacy topics. Ultimately, from direct experience in over 30 different classes, we found that mobile phone polling is a useful tool for any librarian to have in their pedagogical toolbox.