Day 120 (of 186) still debating cell phones in schools? Thanks @shareski & @pasi_sahlberg

Day 120 (of 186) still debating cell phones in schools? Thanks @shareski & @pasi_sahlberg

Sigh. Dean posed “the question” again

Too often I see mixed messages: teachers telling students to hand phones in at the front rather than turning them into powerful tools. Indeed many teachers ban student phones while not following the message they are preaching (pushes the trust factor a bit) – and for teachers who don’t have use cell phones….well they appreciate missing out on some amazing opportunities to communicate while mobile.

Tool vs Toy. We don’t ban pencils or sharpies when they are misused- and kids tuning out by reading a paper book face much less punishment than those reading on a screen. Are we blaming the tool universally or just the ones “we” didn’t have when ”we” were in school?

I’ve been “talked to” about texting during a meeting – only to get a apology when I show them the notes I have taken. I’ve also been “told” by a student when I questioned if she was using her device as a tool or toy that it was being used as a toy because she was frustrated and needed to play a game to calm down to get back to work. She said she needed 5 minutes. When I came back she was indeed working on-task and in a much more relaxed mindset.

Calculator vs phone? The TI-whatever runs about $120. An equivalent app ranges from $4 to……free…..

The timing is great though as Pasi Sahlberg also did some thinking about this:

And of course my kids at home have asked my opinion which continues to be that “we live in an amazing time where the most amazing tool for differentiation fits in our pockets – why wouldn’t we use them…..appropriately.” – like language, communication can be positive or negative but we don’t pan pencils or vocal chords when misused – we focus on better use…not “not using it”.

So….how successful is a cell plan? Depends on what the focus is….and if adults are using mobile tech – isn’t that a great way to model acceptable use? Sure there are some topics to deal with such as photos and social media – but those are always good topics to be talking about to have better “netiquette”. Saying “don’t use it”…..well, don’t use it…say “how to use it’ to make things better, not hidden.

If your cell phone policy isn’t successful, keep working with it – success with these tools is definitely worth it!


About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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