Can having your phone out in class be helpful to students learning? there are many tools and apps available now. However, is the temptation to text too high?

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I think texting would be just as bad at laptops which are currently allowed in many classrooms. The students would probably use the cell phone for 5% of class material and 95% for socializing or twitter. But if laptops are allowed then should cell phones be allowed as well.

I think that the temptation to text and play games is too high. Students not only have useful apps on their phones, but they also have games and the access to texting. As a teacher, I do not want my students to have their cell phones out. Not only is it a distraction to themselves and other students, but also to me. If I see them looking at their phone, or having it out, I am unsure if they are paying attention or doing what they are supposed to be doing. 

I believe their is a place and time for cell phones. Considering the fact that you now have small children, ages 5 and older, who have cell phones now it comes down to responsibility and maturity. I think if the students can be responsible and use it for the right reason and not just text or get on Facebook then yes they should be allowed. I have used my iPhone in class before to look up facts or an answer to something I don't know and it enhances my learning.

I believe the temptation is too high for students. It would be more of a hindrance than a help, and the resources found on the phone could also be found on a tablet or laptop where student-use is supervised by the instructor. 

Yes honestly it is too high of a temptation to have a phone out in the classroom setting. However a lot of classrooms have tablets and computers out during all lesson times. If we cannot trust our students with phones then how could we ever trust them with other technologies out during class? We as teachers need to give the students our full trust until they fully break it.

I agree with you that there are many tools and apps available that are great for learning, but I still think the risk to play games and text is too high. This is why I love ipads. Yes, they could still play games, but maybe the teacher could eliminate that by not having wifi available on the ipads and not having any game apps...only having apps that are helpful to the students learning.

I really see your point here, and have wondered this myself, as there are many useful apps through smart phones and such that might be very useful to have in class.  However, I also think there's a high chance especially with younger ages that they will end up being a hindrance rather than a help.  Since all the students came from different home lives and prosperity levels, I think it might also be hard for those students who don't have smartphones and can only use theirs for non beneficial things to feel left out when the rest of the class is able to use theirs.  Due to this, I think if you're going to use technology and apps for help in the classroom it should probably be more along the lines of an Ipad or some other tablet type device which they could all use.  I also really like Shelby's comment about turning off the wifi, or using the restrictions to where they could only use it for it's learning purpose. :)

How ironic that I am reading this as I have just finished signing a letter from my daughter's math teacher asking parents for permission for students to use their electronic devices for a culminating math class activity.  I think the temptation to text is high when students have access to cell phones, however using your phone in class can be helpful to students' learning.  There are many tools and apps available now as well as online resources, like, where students can use their own cell phones as student response clickers or for recording or iPod purposes.  Teachers can acquire a few extra phones on hand for students who need to borrow one.  iPads, Kineos, netbooks or other digital devices can be used as standalones with certain internet limitations, to keep students on track and focused with the class assignment.  Also, like my daughter's math teacher, a electronic usage form can be sent home to inform parents of the assignment or activity so that students are even more aware of the acceptable usage of their device in class.

I think that in very controlled situations that cell phone use can be a very positive addition to the classroom setting. I have had the opportunity to use a website that allows students to text in responses to a website. The questions are posted on the smartboard through the website and the results are tallied instantly. As students respond, a discussion can happen regarding the data that the texting is showing. This is a great opportunity for formative assessments since you can see how the class is thinking without making anyone uncomfortable for wrong answers. I have also found it useful for students to look up quick facts while we are discussing issues within the classroom. My students know that this is only allowed when we are doing specific activities and any other times it will be a violation and a subsequent write up. I have never had an issue with them breaking the rules since they love the opportunity to use their phones and they don't want to jeopardize it. Doing this also greatly raises the level of student engagement.  



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