Recently in my masters of Education class we have been discussion the use of cell phones in the classroom for an educational purpose. I wanted to know what are some opinions out there regarding this topic? If you are for the use of cell phones what are some of the positive / effective ways they are used?

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Wow! Thanks for the info in your blog! I'm just wondering what challenges you've had (both in technical and policy) with trying to implement cell phones into your school?
I am not sure about cell phones in the classroom. Takes a lot of classroom management. If I can get my students to use the responders and bring pencil and paper I would be happy. Not encouraging cell phone use at this time without more research as to what plans students have. would not want to be liable for cell phone bills. As the become less expensive I see uses, but for now, I will stick to traditional methods.
Well, nowadays, phones are a lot like computers. They have special apps and internet connections, so I can see how it would be beneficial in that sense. However, I think phones would be much too distracting- text messages, phone calls, games, etc. If schools are going to integrate new technology, they should integrate technology that doesn't traditionally symbolize teenage communication and distraction. A better alternative (that everyone is talking about) could be the ipad; for one it has a bigger screen and I think it could be easier controlled by the teacher.
I believe cell phones could be used in the classroom if you have a class mature enough to be trusted with having cell phones during class time without having it as a distraction. Unlimited text/web would probably be beneficial in order to not become a billing issue as well, I agree. I would not see this working in an elementary group, but high school would definitely be a possibility (middle school would "iffy" in my opinion).
Hi Jennifer,

You can read my blog for many ideas on how they can be used effectively here. You may want to start with 5 Steps to Harnessing the Power of Cells in Education Today . As you look through the posts, I invite your thoughts and comments.

You may also want to join my Cell Phones in Education group here or my Let Students Use Cell Phones to Learn group on Facebook to connect with others interested in this topic.
Great ideas, everyone!
I've been struggling to find a way to bring them into my teaching and now I get it!

At a recent teacher training session the speaker gave a very practical piece of advice... As her elementary students walk in the her class, the place the phones (turned off) into a basket. When the lesson calls for phones (ha ha - "calls for phones") she has her kids pick them up. When it is over they go back in the basket (turned off) until the end of the day. She also suggested to plan for last period, so if a phone is not turned off it won't cause a problem.
I can see both sides to this arguement.
I think if all the students had the same phones perhaps provided by the school to upload, download, and research with for school work in and out of the classroom then that would be very helpful in the learning.I can see multiple scenarios where phones could help with scavenger hunts pictures, quick video projects, students emailing each other information.
In some cases if teachers are wanting to use phones that aren't provided then they must consider that not all students have phones or not all have internet access to research information quickly or to upload pictures. Some children would be left out of the phone using activities. That could create issues amongst students such as jealousy and cause cliques.
Not having a 1:1 phone environment is not a case for not using tech just as we wouldn't consider not using computers or textbooks if not every student had them. Here are some ways to address one to some environments.

# Checking out a device from school i.e. laptop, iTouch, cell phone
# Connecting with community businesses willing to provide students with afterschool access to technology.
# Connecting students with mentors who could ensure students had access to technology.
# Partnerships with local library.
# Outreach to cell phone providers to donate minutes/equipment for students in need.
# Setting a place in the school (i.e. library, lab, classroom) for after school/ before school access to school technology.
# Partnering classmates who can share technology.
I think that a phone can be used in a positive way but you can always stick with a computer. sometimes smart phones can be a little slow or not get any service in certain areas. it would be great however, for like tweets or poll taking. technology has taken over period so anything is possible in classes on adays.
Well, I wouldn't encourage the use of cellphones in the classroom for communication, since it definitely creates a level of distraction, especially among K12 students. But I agree with the other uses - a cellphone (or a modern PDA) can be used as a camera, or to tweet, share, and learn from various internet resources while students learn, which could be a great idea.
I thought about using them a long with a twitter account in my Spanish 3 and 4 classes. This was students could be sharing information in Spanish about their day. More writing and reading would help any student in a foreign language class.
I think cell phones don't belong in the classroom. They are a major distraction and are not worth the trouble they can cause. How can you regulate a student's personal cell phone? How can you keep them from texting each other and help them to remain on task? What do you do about students who don't have cell phones? How will they participate? What happens to their self esteem when they don't have a cell phone to pull out with the rest of the class? What about the students with really nice phones? How do you keep them from getting stolen? I could go on and on... cell phones in the classroom are not a good idea.



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