Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cellphones in the Classroom...A Nuisance or a tool?

3.3 billion....approximately 1/2 the population of the earth...have cell phones. The last two years I have been on the totally opposite side of the spectrum of the argument I am about to "endorse". Through research and my love of technology, I have began to try and find a way to use cell phones as a tool within the classroom instead a banning or penalizing students for using them. In the past, I have saw them as a complete nuisance. On several occasions, I would take them from students if I saw them, since school policy required students to keep cell phones in their lockers. Our policy was that the phone would be locked up for 24 hours for the 1st offense, 48 hours for the 2nd. In fact, last year I collected nearly 40 cell phones from students texting when they shouldn't be. You are probably thinking, why embrace cell phones now? I'm asking how am I going to sell the idea to my administrator after being 100% anti-cell phone in the classroom? Cell phones are not going away. The texting and other applications available on phones today is relatively affordable. Information is literally at students finger tips. Cell phones now can be used to shoot video as well. Last year, I saw Vicki Davis present at a conference. Her blog contains daily updates on technology and its use in the classroom. This link focuses on "the case for cell phones in schools". Hall Davidson from Discovery Education strongly advocates the use of cell phones in the classroom. I honestly feel we as educators are "missing the boat", if we are not using the cell phone as a tool. What rules or policies need to be in place when using the cell phone as a tool within the classroom? What happens when a student "crosses the line"? What are your thoughts?

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