How many of you use your smart phone as your primary camera? Primary computer, dictionary or note tablet? I’m sure many hands would be raised as we are addicted to having immediate access to information and productivity tools.
Contrasting, the majority of schools nationwide (and possibly worldwide) have banned the use of cell phones in the classroom. This is totally understandable as cellphones can be used as a tool for bullying, cheating, constant texting as well causing classroom distractions if not managed properly. How do you tell the student who wants to use their smart phone to photograph the chalkboard notes he/she can’t when indeed it will help them? A difficult dilemma.
Schools across the US are experimenting and finding the use of mobile phones in a controlled environment are enhancing the classroom learning experience. In a recent blog, Advancing Mobile Phones as Learning Devices, the Principal of New Milford HS experimented and allowed his teachers to use cellphones in the classroom for student response systems. They utilized Poll Everywhere, an application that checks for understanding, reviews prior learning, and informally assess the work. After a year of experimenting with mobile phones in the classroom, he concludes,
“As educators we must establish a vision for our students and model the use of cell phones as mobile learning devices in order to empower them to embrace the same view. We live in a world where these devices are a huge part of our student’s lives. Schools should position themselves to not only take advantage of this resource as budgets are tight, but also teach students about the powerful tool they possess.”
What are your opinions on opening the door to cell phone use as a classroom tool? Please share your experiences and best practices with the educators worldwide. We’ll all benefit!
My two cents: Use the phones as the intelligent tools that they are. Teach appropriate usage and enforce it. We actually have teachers running gleefully out of an active classroom to grab a cell phone from a student with an, “Aha! Caught ya!”.
And it’s the student that is the problem here?