Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cell Phones in Schools and Classrooms



Cell phones being allowed in the classroom is something I thought would never happen! Now that technology is spreading like wildfire, I am understanding how the use of cell phones can be beneficial to have in the classroom under certain circumstances. Like most things, there is a time and a place for them.

            Today, many students are more familiar with cell phones than their parents! They understand how they work, and they are able to use them for a variety of reasons. Smart phones make accessing information a breeze. Cell phones allow them to have access to so much knowledge right at their fingertips. Because students are familiar with them, enjoy them, and will be using them in the future, I do think they could have a place in the classroom (probably middle to high school). I know a teacher at my school who gave the students a practice test and the students were able to take it right on their cell phones! He said it worked great! This type of assignment not only integrates technology into the classroom for the students, it can also be convenient for the teachers. With this pretest, the computer actually corrected it….leaving more time for the teacher to work with his students.

            I do think that cell phones could cause distraction and/or cheating if guidelines are not established before students bring them to class. Texting friends, playing games, and social networking when students should be paying attention could be an issue. Some students may not be able to afford cell phones or parents may not allow them to have one as a child or teen. Another issue could include students using their phones to look up answers when they are not supposed to. On the other hand, if we have access to knowledge so quickly in today’s world, do students need to memorize things such as historical dates, or should they be allowed to use the resources that are available? Knowing how to use these resources should definitely be part of education! If we are trying to prepare kids for the real world – technology it a huge part of it!

            Will I be allowing my students to use cell phones in class? Being that I teach 3rd grade, the answer is “no”. I know a few of my students do have phones, however that majority of them do not. I am only five years deep into teaching. I am guessing that down the line somewhere, cell phone use in my classroom could be a reality! It is important to keep an open mind!

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