Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cell Phones in Class? Really? Yes!

Today I received an email from online-phd-degree.net. It was a notice of nomination for The Most Fascinating Blog Award in the education category. Specifically, the Cell Phone in the Classroom post in 2009.

Online PhD Programs

I'm not so sure it is fascinating but it sure has gotten some buzz. I have had several emails from undergraduate and graduate students who request information about what I do and how my school handles it. It seems there is some fascination with what I've done.

I believe we should embrace the technology. Some of us will still be fighting the cell phone when it's replacement comes along! And we all know that will come soon. How soon? I'm not sure but, it will come.

I was a classroom technology teacher for 16 years and then moved to instructional technology director for 12 years. I have been back in the classroom for 3 years now. I can tell you that I have been practicing what I preached. It works. However, it is not without problems.

I strongly believe that if a district were to implement cell phone use, starting in elementary school, many problems would not exist. Hear me out. If we start in 2nd or 3rd grade and ask parents to equip their children with cell phones you know most of them would! We would need to train the students, teachers and yes, even parents to use them productively. I think if we give students enough reason not to abuse them they wouldn't. We need to give them those reasons.

Now for the people who see this as a have and have not issue, we need to be creative on how we solve this. If we always did nothing because a few can not afford it we would never do anything. I have never been one to cater to the lowest common denominator.

Each year my students find several new ways to use their cell phones in school. They are always impressed with what is available for school use. They may all have them but that does not mean they fully utilize it. We need to do better!