I recently read the article, “Lift the Cell Phone Ban” by David Rapp. The article presents the question of why many schools are not using students’ cell phones as instructional tools in the classroom rather than forbidding students to use their phones while in school. One concern I have is mentioned in the article, as the author states that, “Initially, only about 40 percent of the class had cell phones, but kids who had them were willing to share.” I am wondering if parents would really want their children sharing their cell phone while at school. Who is liable if the phone is broken?
I liked some ideas presented in the article, including this statement: “But kids who had video functions on their phones could record their discussions then Bluetooth it to Dolman’s phone, and she could watch each individual discussion, without missing a moment.”
In addition to the problem of each student not having his or her own cell phone, I wonder how teachers would prevent misuse of phones since they will not be able to keep their eyes on all students at all times. One problem schools face now is students sexting to each other. How do teachers ensure that students are being appropriate on their phones? How do they ensure that students aren’t watching a YouTube sports clip instead of completing their assignment? Also, what accommodations will be made for students who cannot manipulate such a small screen and keyboard? A last concern I have is about students who lose focus easily. I have problems all the time with my students checking their Facebook account or watching a video on YouTube or surfing a clothing website for new shoes. How do teachers prevent students from giving in to temptations to surf the Internet?
I like the idea of using cell phones in class, but I don’t see how educators can solve all of the issues that could impede learning.