text from coolcatteacher
photo by jonjon2k8
They are NEARLY ubiquitous and can alleviate some of the strain and cost of our infrastructure.
2-Cell Phones Can Help Students Be More Organized
Most students WILL NOT carry a paper planner. We need to integrate their cell phones and/or iTouch devices as their planner - giving them homework reminders, letting them poll, podcast, vodcast, blog, and study using these mobile devices. They have them with them ALL of the time which make is perfect for using as a planner. When I took the Franklin Covey planning course, rule number 1 was "Always have your planner with you." Kids can be reminded of things from their Google Calendar, which integrates with the calendar I use for planning.
3-It Makes Kids More Safe
Because of safety issues, I think that eventually someone will have a legal liability because a student was in trouble and WAS NOT able to use their cell phone. I think that schools should all have SMS notification services in the case of emergency and that it is a vital lifeline for safety.
4-It Allows Sensitive Issues to be Kept Private
I have a real problem with kids names being called over the loud speaker for detention or even to come to the office. This is private. I think that a text message from the front office preceding such a thing is a lot more respectful and would probably get them there faster.
5-It Alleviates Strain on the Network.
Cell phones are a separate network and thus do not go over the local wireless. Their effective use can provide an alternative method of accessing the Internet and/or querying short bits of information.
6-It Alleviates Strain in the IT Department
Cell phone troubleshooting is not something that is needed. If a child has problems, let them use a laptop, check out an itouch from the library or use a computer. However, the use of cell phones for small queries and tasks alleviates the use of computers for small tasks.
7-It Speeds Up Information Retrieval
If you do not have to turn on cell phone - there is zero boot time. If you DO have to turn it on, you're looking at 3-4 seconds. Time your laptop's boot time. I have a PC and it takes at least 3 minutes to be functional. I find it is much easier to have my students define words and query google with a text message.
8-It Allows Us to Teach Kids Digital Responsibility and Citizenship
I was at Disney and a child was lost. He knew his phone number but NOT his area code. I found the area code using Google search and we had Mommy there within moments. Kids should KNOW how to retrieve information easily from SMS. Additionally, self control about texting is a PROVEN problem for many kids. Learning the self discipline to use this tool when appropriate is part of life. By allowing them to be present and NOT used - we're letting kids learn the self discipline to focus and use the tool when appropriate.
I believe in allowing distractions in my classroom and coaching the kids to focus. I think this is much better than the "police state" type filtration and technology policies that many schools have.
9-It Sets a Model for Effective Change and Innovation
10-You're fighting a losing battle. Tweet this!