I have been in controversy with myself over the use of cell phones in the classroom. I have been in and out of schools in the past few weeks subbing for TA’s and went into my first high school the other day. As I went from class to class I noticed many of the students using their cell phones. They were using their cell phones during instruction and during work time. During instruction they would show friends things on their cell phones and laugh or discuss, completely interrupting the teachers instruction time. Of course not every teacher will react the same, and I only seen one teacher try to take a cell phone away (but gave up after arguing with the student).
I understand there are positive uses of cell phones in a classroom as well as negative uses. When we were in the illuminate session with Dean Sharski he shared with me how one of his schools in Prairie South used cell phones in their classroom for educational purposes. You can check out the recorded session to see what he said about how a class in that division used cellphones in a positive way.
This blog discussess project K-Nect which is where students do school work over their cell phones. It argues that students doing work on their cell phones is more fun for them making school more engaging. It also brings in inclusivity since some students who may not like speaking in class might be comfortable speaking on a blog in class. When students are in class and stuck on a question rather than asking in front of the class or having the teacher come over, the student can ask on the blog, this seems kind of lazy to me and I think I would prefer explaining to my students at their desk or mine. Cell phones have many more capabilities than pen and paper do and the amount of things and lesson that can be done on them is endless.
Of course the questions are as follows. If the cell phones do not get donated or funded, what about the few students that don’t have cell phones. Students need to learn to be internet safe before we are letting them all over the internet in school and that students might just not pay attention.