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Should Students Be Allowed to Use their Cell Phones in Class?. Point/Counterpoint Presentation With Perspectives from Administrators, Parents, Teachers and Studetns. By: Julie Gorski- RDG. 5410. Should students be allowed to use cell phones in class for educational purposes?. Yes or No.
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Should Students Be Allowed to Use their Cell Phones in Class? Point/Counterpoint Presentation With Perspectives from Administrators, Parents, Teachers and Studetns. By: Julie Gorski- RDG. 5410
Should students be allowed to use cell phones in class for educational purposes? Yes or No
Outside of school, students communicate through a variety of digital devices, such as cell phones, computers, BlackBerry devices, and I-Pods. Of these, cell phones are by far the most common and accessible devices.
Using real-word resources for teaching and learning in the classroom can make education more meaningful and relevant to our students. • Because mobile phones are tools to access, create and share information, they have the potential to be valuable tools for teaching and learning. ( Hoope, Jouner, Milrad and Sharples, 2003).
The Current Stance on Cell Phones in the School • In the early 1990s many states banned students form brining cell phones to school. • Views on cell phone use in the school has changed because cell phones have become more common, inexpensive and popular. • By the late 1990s several states had already repealed their ban on student cell phones in school. • Cell phones have become a permanent part of society. Some teachers say banning them is as futile as former efforts to ban calculators.
Administrators View on cell phones in the classroom • It can be costly • There’s a great deal of liability involved when it comes to the improper use of this technology. • We need to be equitable in the delivery of education to all of our students.
Instead of spending time, energy and money creating policies that fight cell phone use in schools, we are better served directing our resources toward finding useful ways to integrate these devices as knowledge construction, data collection, and collaboration tools and towards teaching digital etiquette.
Parents’ view on cell phones in the classroom • Most parents feel the opposite of teachers and administrators when it comes to cell phone use in the classrooms. They feel: • Cell phones provide a safety feature where their child can contact them in any emergency and vice versa. • Parents also see the academic benefit of cell phone use. They want their children to be using the technology that will prepare them for the future.
The Goal: • The goal is to encourage educators to introduce cell phones to students as potential learning tools and lifelong professional tools, rather than viewing them solely as a social toy.
Teachers’ View on Cell Phones in the Classroom • Teachers have been overwhelmingly in favor of cell phone bans – possibly due to: • their lack of knowledge on the benefits of technology in the classroom • or lack of confidence on how to use these devices themselves • Or the liability that comes with them. • Only 47% of teachers feel schools are doing an adequate job preparing students to compete in the modern job market. (Project Tomorrow, 2006,b).
The issue is not whether educators should use the media tools of the digital native generation in the classroom rather the issue is how to help teachers learn to utilize the media tools effectively for knowledge construction.
Allowing students to use technology within school gives them the opportunity to connect learning inside and outside of school. Students have their cell phones with them at all times (unlike many other school tools) teachers need to take advantage of this motivational tool and find methods to integrate it into the classroom.
Students’ View on Cell Phones in the classroom • Students enjoy using their cell phones and they are highly motivated to interact with their cell phones during class. • If students are going to use technology outside of school, teachers need to bring these devices into educational activities, so students can learn to use them as a tool of knowledge. • If they already use technology at a staggering rate, teachers should teach them how to navigate and stay safe in the media world. Students are often unaware of and indifferent to the consequences of their use and misuse of technology (Raine, 2006).
86.3 % of students use the internet to find information instead of trying to find a book with the information in it.
Activities most favored by Middle School Students One a scale from 1-6, six being most favored and 1 being the least favored, students preferred the following: • Using a computer type device - Most Favored • Doing research on the internet – Most Favored • Working on projects in a group – Favored • Listening to the teacher explain things – Least Favored • Doing worksheets – Least Favored
Most and Least Favored Activities in School: • Taken from the research of Hiller A. Spires, John K. Lee, and Kimberly A. Turner - North Carolina State University
What Students Want From their Schools: • To be engaged in their learning. Make it relevant and enjoyable. • Prepare us for the jobs of the future by exposing us to current technology. • Don’t leave us behind the rest of the world. Make us competitive.
A Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey found that 64% of online teens are content creators. They have created or worked on a blog or a web page, shared original content online, or remixed content found online to make a new creation (Lenhart, Madden, Rankin, & Smith, 2007).
Benefits of cell phone use in the classroom • Students can stay in contact with parents when plans change and the office secretary and classroom teacher are not interrupted. • In Emergency situations, police can get real time information and landlines stay open. • Cell phones have internet capability for researching. • Cell phones and other digital devices allow learners to transcend the boundaries of time and space imposed by schools and to connect with literally a world of information anytime or anywhere (Breck,2006; Inkpen, 2001; Rogers & Price; 2007; Sharples, 2000).
Benefits continued: • They have built in calculators • They have a vast amount of memory to hold entire downloadable books, pictures and research documents. • They are more cost effective than textbooks over time. • Cell phones mimic computers that classrooms may lack. • They are relatively inexpensive. • Easy to use • Allows for interactivity between students and teachers. • Allows for collaboration inside and outside of school.
Still more benefits: • Allows users to create new knowledge and share information on the internet ( Alexander, 2004; Roush, 2005). • Many new web sites can be coupled with cell phones to create innovative learning opportunities. These sites are a part of the Web 2.0 generation • Web logs (Blogs), • Wikis • Photo sharing sites – Flickr • MP3 Sharing sites – Napster (O’Reilly, 2005)
Cons of cell phone use in school • Detractors say that drawbacks to student cell phones outweigh the benefits. • Cell phones are hard to monitor and police during times they are not allowed. • Cell phones distract students and disrupt the flow of the classroom and the teacher’s instruction when they ring in the classroom. • Cheating – as cell phones become more sophisticated and powerful opportunities for cheating increase. • Inappropriate use of cell phones such as photos being taken in the locker rooms or bathrooms are posted online.
Cons continued: • Leads to a deeper division between the “Haves and Have Nots”. For students who don’t have a cell phone or an inferior version – envy develops and leads to additional socioeconomic stratification and sometimes theft. • Opponents of cell phone use say it’s unfair to allow well-off students to benefit from technology and deny the same benefits to poorer students. • Students accessing unfiltered internet sites. • Financial considerations- students or their parents may be charged for use of different applications.
Still more cons: • Using web sites to intimidate or threaten students. • Downloading music illegally from the internet. • Plagiarizing information using the internet. • Playing games during learning time.
Solutions/ways cell phones could be incorporated into the classrooms • Schools need to develop guidelines to govern cell phone use and misuse. • Teachers can post school and classroom rules and policies regarding cell phones usage in the classroom. • Teachers can post consequences for breaking the rules and they should be stiff enough to make an impression. • Schools can set up a social contract with students before engaging in any cell phone activities. • Schools can purchase a class set of cell phones to be used in class and monitored easily.
More solutions: • Because many schools ban cell phones in school, two ways that students can take advantage of their cell phones as learning tools without having to bring them to class is through fieldtrips and homework assignments. • Classroom controls: teachers can collect cell phones and not hand them out until needed for an activity. • Pair students who have no or limited access to technology with others who have significantly greater access.
Our education system must be transformed to address the needs of the global society as well as the needs of the 21st century student – (Speres, Lee, Turner, 2007)
Conclusion/Personal Reflection • I believe that cell phones do have a place in the classroom. Our students need to be exposed to ways they can use the devices they use everyday for educational purposes. I do believe that thoughtful guidelines and safeguards need to be put in place for this to be successful. We have an obligation to our students to educate them the best way we can. All our students want from us to be engaged, to be prepared and not left behind.
References Alexander, B. (2004). Going nomadic: mobile learning in higher education. EducauseReview, 39 (5), 29-35. Bailey, D.; Riffle, G.; Ross,T. (2004). Digital citizenship – addressing appropriate technology behavior. Learning and Leading with Technology, vol. 32, No. 1. BBC News (2006b, September 19). Youngsters reliant mobiles. Retrieved September 21, 2006 from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5358784.stm Breck, J. (2006). Why is education not in the ubiquitos web world picture? Educational Technology, 46 (4), 43-46. Hiller, A. ; Spires, J.; Lee, K.; & Turner, A. (2007). Having a say: middle Grade student perspectives on school, technologies and academic engagement. Journal of Research on Technology in Education. 40 (4), 497- 515. Hoope, U.; Joiner, R.; Milrad, M.; & Sharples, M. (2003). Guest editorial: Wireless & mobile technologies in education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 19, 255. Inkpen, K. (2001). Designing handheld technologies for kids. Personal Technologies Journal 3, 81-89. Kolb, L. (2007). Toys to tools – connecting student cell phones to education. McNeal, T. ,Van t’ Hooft, M. (2006). Anywhere, anytime: using mobile phones for learning. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology (RCET), Vol. 2, No. 2, Fall 2006. Sharples, M. (2006). The design of personal mobile technologies for life long learning. Computers and Education, 34, 177-193.