I think that students use of cellphones should not be allowed in class. Cell Phones today are more like computers that allow students to access the internet, play games, and use applications that can create music or read sports stories. Having these sorts of distractions at your fingertips in the classroom can be a huge draw to any student. Regulating usage of phones at school in general is a completely different issue, but regulating their use in the classroom should be watched carefully. If a student is texting under their desk all day they lose a lot of what the initial attempt was to teach them. Limiting these distractions is important. I think that being said, teaching students how to use their cell phones for educational purposes by showing off some applications and talking about their power as an education device could be a very useful. Cell phones have become a fact of life, so limiting their usage in inappropriate situations while informing students of their ability to help them in real-life situations is a balancing act that must be attempted.
I was not aware of BYOD until learning about the topic in class. Bring Your Own Device, the purpose of encouraging students to bring electronics to school is an up and coming trend. I work in a vocational training program, training and teaching students to become prepared to enter the world of competitive employment. Cell phones are discouraged in the work place and often are distracting to others. Students have a difficult time paying attention and focusing in on the teacher. Students who have learning disabilities and other types of impairments find it difficult learning in large groups let alone using technology in a small group setting. We encourage them to leave their mobile devices at home. We do have one student who communicates via the iPad. In this case, I applaud the use of the iPad for communicative purposes, and if we had more access to iPads for others, I would see the value. However, when students use the cell phone to check out the time or to see the latest instant message or text, they lose valuable instructional time. In the future as this trend gains momentum I wonder about students who do not have access to cell phones, how are they kept engaged?
Although I do agree with the many points made by Krista in that students DO benefit from accessing their mobile device in class. The ability to search the internet, use various apps and to communicate with peers related to school work is great. I then wonder about students doing their own work and not cheating on exams and quizzes. I also agree that students need to be aware of the digital rights and responsibilities while doing classwork on these devices.