Use the following rules to give students the freedom to use these new tools without abusing the privilege. Only visit approved Internet sites. Never give out your personal information. Students may not understand the importance of keeping their information private.
Ferriter At a recent conference, a team of teachers asked me an all-too-common question: How can we get the educators in our building to embrace cell phones as a legitimate tool for learning?
The teachers told me cell phones were banned by school policy—and most of their colleagues wouldn't have it any other way. Despite the fact that 75 percent of all kids ages 12—17 have cell phones, educators have done their best to aggressively erase this tool from their classrooms.
In fact, less than 12 percent of students attend schools where cell phones can be accessed at any time—and almost 70 percent attend schools where cell phones are banned from the classroom. Our efforts to control student cell phone use are—at times—noble.
Cell phones can be a real disruption to learning when used improperly. With almost 60 percent of teens reporting that they've sent and received text messages and 25 percent reporting that they've made phone calls while in class, the disruptions are real.
But efforts to eliminate cell phone use are also short-sighted, especially in an era when fewer dollars are available for classroom supplies. With a willingness to experiment, teachers might be able to create classrooms where the cell phones currently tucked into students' backpacks function as important tools instead of incessant distractions.
Making the Case To break down negative attitudes toward cell phones as learning tools in your building, try the following. Make cell phones visible. Most cell phone skeptics I know are worried about sneaky students. My solution is simple: Require students to place their cell phones on the top right-hand corner of their desks when they come into class.
That way you will know if someone is texting or calling a friend when they're supposed to be learning. The best answer to students who act irresponsibly with cell phones isn't a blanket ban which they'll probably ignore anyway.
The best answer is to force students to act responsibly. Show colleagues and administrators one convincing classroom application. Convincing educators to embrace any new tool starts with demonstrating how it can improve learning or make our work easier—show us that, and we'll embrace almost anything.
To make a case for cell phones, you might demonstrate a text-messaging-based polling system like Poll Everywhere, which allows users to create surveys that participants respond to via text messaging. By creating an account free for groups of 30 or less on Poll Everywhere's website www.
You'll instantly have the capacity to create brief multiple-choice or open-answer surveys that you can show in class using a data projector. Students can then text their responses—either as short answers or predetermined codes automatically assigned to each indicator of a multiple-choice question—back to Poll Everywhere.
Results are displayed instantly for the entire class to see, are updated in real time, and can be downloaded for future reference. I've found that my class members are happy to share their phones with those few students who aren't carrying a cell phone or don't have a texting plan.
Poll Everywhere turns cell phones into student responders—something most schools can't afford—that teachers can use to gather information about content mastery in their class. For instance, science teachers curious about whether their students can accurately convert metric measurements into standard measurements can create quick multiple-choice surveys with Poll Everywhere and instantly see how well their students grasp the content and conversion procedures presented in class.
Considering how important efficiently collecting data has become in today's classroom—and that 75 percent of all students with cell phones have unlimited texting plans—services like Poll Everywhere should be an instant hit in most schools.
Use cell phones to replace needed supplies. I first became convinced that cell phones had a place in the classroom when my students were completing a science lab that required timing the melting rate of an ice cube.
Students were excited by the lab, but we didn't have enough timers for every group.WSU's College of Applied Studies students combine their classroom learning with real-world experience in a wide range of settings—from Wichita Public Schools and Major League Baseball to Walt Disney World—equipping them with a professional resume and important contacts in their chosen fields.
At a recent conference, a team of teachers asked me an all-too-common question: How can we get the educators in our building to embrace cell phones as a legitimate tool for learning?
The teachers told me cell phones were banned by school policy—and most of their colleagues wouldn't have it any.
By Jessica Sanders. More and more teachers are bringing technology tools into their classroom to enhance learning and engage students. However, regular use of the Internet and apps requires teachers to add a new set of rules to their classroom that dictate proper behavior and use of this technology.
Education technology is assisting in a huge change in educational practice. This is not really something new, as education technology has been changing over several decades. When we first began teaching, it was said that teachers from the 19 th century would experience limited difficulty in working in those classrooms.
This would certainly not be the case now. Edmodo is an easy way to get your students connected so they can safely collaborate, get and stay organized, and access assignments, grades, and school messages.
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