Friday, May 27, 2011

Digital Technologies and Cell Phones in Schools

Video: Digital Technology in the Classroom : Watch the Video!

The scale tilts. More and more educators call for cell phones in schools. Recently, the National Education Association endorsed their use; see the article Get Smart!

 10 Proven  Strategies to Break the Ban and Build Opportunities for Student Learning with Cell Phones enumerates practical and pedagogical reasons for cellphone inclusion.

Though digital technologies like laptops find their way into schools, there's still plenty of bans on cellphones. But what about the schools where laptops and desktops are scarce? How can cellphones close the digital divide?

After checking these sources, what's your position on digital technologies and cellphones in schools? Are the arguments in these sources one-sided?


Johanna said...

Truthfully speaking, the idea of welcoming cell phones into the classroom is a bit intimidating. As teachers, we have a difficult enough time already keeping students on task and differentiating between appropriate times to socialize and learn. However, after viewing the video link and reading the articles posted here on the issue, I can see how using smart phones could potentially bridge the digital divide in our classrooms, allowing access to technology for more students.
Logistically, in my third grade classroom, this would not help us out tremendously, as my students do not have cell phones at the age of 8, but I did find some ideas for teacher cell phone use very intriguing. Having an iphone myself, I really like the idea of downloading Mobile Mouse Pro and linking my phone to my Smartboard as a portable remote control, keyboard, and mouse. (This might take some convincing of the administration in my buidling, as cell phone use is strictly prohibited suring school hours, and is even discouraged after hours on campus). I also believe that teachers in higher grades (such as middle and high school levels), could welcome and utilize cell phone use in the classroom as an engaging and effective learning tool. This could work because many students at this age have cell phones, or could share with a partner. I would highly recommend viewing the sample parent permission slips and spending several sessions brainstorming, creating, and reviewing guidelines for cell phone use in the classroom to ensure that it is being used as effectively as possible.

Tami said...

The use of technology through cell phones is a wonderful idea. Working within the secondary level, all students have a cell phone and if they are not using it in between classes or hiding under the desk to send a text, the cell phone is in a pocket somewhere. While doing my student teaching, everytime I walked the hall, all I would see were students texting. The policy at the school was no cell phones were to be used within school hours. However, this was not strictly enforced. During a review of CAPT testing, I designed a poll based on previous release science CAPT tests in order to prepare the students better. The poll was similar to that of American Idol and the students needed to use their cell phones to answer the question. The students' had a great time reviewing because they were able to use their cell phones in class. However, as Johanna stated it was VERY difficult to get the students to put the phones down after answering the questions and not text their friends in the class or outside of the class. The ability to use cell phone technology is a wonderful idea, however it will take clearly defined rules that are enforced, by the teacher, in order to succeed in the use of these apps and programs.

Tim O'Rourke said...

I think that cell phones in the classroom can be a good idea. Students are on their cell phones all the time anyways, so why not make them us it for good. I have used some of the programs, such as online surveys in classrooms with cell phones, and I thought it was a great tool to use. I do think that they can be dystracting at times, and student might have to urge to text their friends more often, but it comes with the territory. In today's day and age everyone has a cell phone so why not take advantage of it?

Meghan said...

I love love love the idea of using these awesome new forms of technology in the classroom!! I feel that in terms of differentiation, technology always touches on multiple intelligences, so every student will learn in some way through these computer programs. Whether it be the hands on learner, the visual learner, or the auditory learner!
My one concern, as the teacher in the video said...was that her students are very comfortable with this technology while she is still "becoming comfortable" with the technology. I am happy that there are tons of ways to learn technology now a days, but it worries me when teachers implement forms of technology in their classrooms that their students know better than they do. I feel as teachers, it is our responsibility to learn a new technology front and back before we introduce it in our classrooms!!

Melissa said...

I was shocked when I read on the NEA website that some are predicting that within five years there will be a smart phone in the hands of every student in the classroom. I think this is a great way for students to learn because it targets their interests and prepares them for their digital future. One of the websites mentioned using texting as a way to communicate with parents. Although I text frequently, I would not want to text one of my students parents. I can imagine that there would not be enough room within a text to discuss a student, and frankly I think some parents would abuse the resource. However, I love the example that Tami shared about using texting to take classroom polls. Isolated activities similar to the one she mentioned would be not only practical but fun for students. As one teacher mentioned in the video, we are doing our students are disservice if we do not allow them to use such advanced technology in the classroom.

Blog Archive