I grew up when cellphones were starting to become a normal thing in high school and only the “coolest” kids or the “most loved” ones got cell phones in middle school. Theres were many ups and downs to allowing us to have our cell phones in school. In middle school we were allowed to bring a cell phone in case of emergencies, but had to leave them in our lockers all day. This never made sense to any of us. If something went wrong how or when would I have time to get my cell phone? It seemed as if the administration wanted to make parents who were for cell phones happy and that was the only reason they allowed them.
In high school we were allowed to carry our cell phones around with us as long as they were turned off (which of course they NEVER were). Most people didn’t have internet access or smart phones just yet so for us phones were only a means on communication between friends. Because of that I understand why when I was in high school many teachers were upset when a cell phone was out, but now a days most students have smart phones which allow them to do so much more!
I’m not a big advocate for cell phone use in the classroom, but in some cases I can see the benefit. Students can look up resources to help them find information or use apps such as google docs to collaborate with one another. Teachers encourage the use of computers and internet when conducting research or going to an educational website. A smart phone is just a mini computer so why do so many educators not utilize it?
Students DO have cell phones and ARE going to use them. Its just a fact. When I was in high school my cell phone was always on and I was using it throughout the day. What we really need to be doing with our students is teaching them when its appropriate to use cell phones and in what ways. Lets teach them that cell phones ARE an educational tool. Maybe then they’d even take some of the resources or apps shown to them and continue learning outside of the classroom. We see people glued to their phones all the time, but what if when we took a look at their screen it was an article or a program teaching them another language? Technology is not evil, its a great! It just has to be used the right way.