The big news of the day comes from a new survey’s results on cell phone use in the classroom. To be honest, I’m not surprised with the findings. I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell students to put their phones away. The school I worked at had a “no cell phone” rule in which first time student’s were caught with their phone out they received a warning; then the next time students had their phones taken away. I never took the phone away, but I made it more of a respect thing. And students listened. Apologies followed whereas not-so-kind words were delivered to other teachers.
For me, like I said before, I do get the distraction element, but students are also using cell phones productively. And cheating, as shown by this survey, I mean that is out of the question for what I want and what will be going on in my classroom. But I can’t help but wonder if schools weren’t so adamantly against cell phone use if the use would go down or maybe even begin to turn into more “productive” classroom activities (i.e. assessing student learning through polls). I’m not saying kids should be texting during my instruction — again goes back to setting up a classroom built upon respect — but I can’t say that I don’t believe there could be some legit uses of cell phones within the classroom walls.
And on another note, I just find it sort of funny that all of the news reporters were so “shocked” that kids were texting everywhere (even in school). Actually, one day I asked my students why they were texting and who in the world were they texting anyway. One student’s response (which made the whole class laugh): “I’m actually texting my mom. I forgot my soccer cleats and was trying to get her to call the school so I can get an early dismissal to run home and get them. You can see if you want!” Go figure!