Since mid summer, I have had a running search in Twitter to follow the postings about cell phones in schools. After reading the comments for two months now, the only observation that I can make is that the ‘camps’ are clearly divided.
In some educational organizations, there is a centrally determined policy that is followed by all schools. In other cases, the use of cell phones (or not), is determined at the local school level. Approaches typically fall into two main categories – cell phones are banned, or cell phones are permissible during non class times. A small number of schools allow unrestricted use.
The opinion of teachers is equally divided. Based on my Twitter observations, there seems to be growing interest in the use of cell phones as a mobile learning tool. While it is easy to argue that a cell phone is more likely to be a distraction in the classroom, teachers are finding effective ways to integrate their use in curriculum delivery. My personal view is that cell phones, and other mobile technologies, can be used as effective learning tools. As with many things in education, it all comes down to context, appropriate use and finding the ways in which the device can be used in the learning environment in a positive manner. Teachers willing to take a chance to explore a new approach or integrate a new tool are often rewarded with success.
Reading and Resources
Journal Star: Should cell Phones be allowed in schools?
Tech Learning: Cell Phones Welcome Here
K-12 Cellphone Projects
Slideshow: K-12 Mobile Learning
The Mobile Learner blog.
EduCause: Handheld and Mobile Computing Resources
Text message based polling.
Your opinion? Where do you stand? Leave a comment, send an email or post on Twitter.