Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cell phones and students

Mobile devices are changing education as we know it. Students can have books, the web, and a camera in their pocket or backpack. The possibilities for the use of these devices in class are endless.

I have read books and articles about how kids will follow the rules of cell phone use as long as you set your parameters and are consistent in enforcing it. That has not been my experience this year.

My school's policy on devices is that they can't be seen, heard, or used during school hours unless the teacher allows it. Teachers can allow students to listen to music at their discretion and let students use the devices for instructional purposes. There is talk of becoming a BYOD campus in the near future.

My husband is an administrator in the district where I work. Daily I hear about his adventures of cell phone chasing. Not a day goes by that a cell phone isn't taken up for violating the policy. He thinks that cell phones are the bane of his existence.

We are a divided household. I think that there is great promise in cell phone use in the classroom because I see other schools implementing it successfully. He spends his days dealing with students who refuse to use their phones as instructed.

This experience makes me wonder. Are our students different from students at schools that successfully use cell phones? Have we left out a piece of the puzzle that is affecting our outcomes? Are the successful schools experiencing the same frustrations as we are and just not mentioning them in the articles? I shall continue to ponder...

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