TECHNOLOGY IN SCHOOLS: TO TEXTOR NOT TO TEXTBy Donna TateFor INST 6130
STUDENT CELL PHONE USAGE The majority of high school students, and increasing number of junior high school students have cell phones &/or electronic music devices such as I-Pods or MP3 players. Many of these student cell phones have internet access that is outside a public school’s filtered and monitored internet service
STUDENT CELL PHONE POLICY The majority of school districts have prohibitive policy regarding student cell phone use during the school day. All school districts have students and parents sign an Internet Usage Policy of some sort—which may be limited to the district’s own internet service and not applicable to student’s cell phone internet.
WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY Anecdotal evidence suggests that students find ways around prohibitive cell phone policies Girls sit at desks with their purses in their laps to have their phones at their fingertips Boys put the phone in a pants pocket for quick texting.
LEGITIMATE CELL PHONE USE IN CLASS Some teachers keep a web page that includes online homework which students can complete using their cell phones. Students finish class work can use their cell phone to complete an homework assignment! Some teachers allow students to do quick internet research on their cell phone needed to answer questions or complete classwork. Teachers report that this increases student engagement and responsibility for learning!
LEGITIMATE CELL PHONE USE IN CLASS One Biology teacher used a texting lesson to model DNA translation and transcription. Students texted a DNA set to each other Errors were discussed from the perspective of genetic mutations The technology was not the lesson, simply a tool of the lesson. Students were observed to be on task and highly engaged in the lesson.
LEAD YOUR SCHOOL (LYS) Lead Your School (LYS) is an educational consulting organization that is a proponent of bootleg technology in the classroom. Their website can be found at: http://www.leadyourschoo l.com/ Their blog can be found at: http://leadyourschool.blog spot.com/
SCHOOLS BRAVE ENOUGH TO TRY A few pioneer schools allow students to use cell phones during passing periods and lunches, such as Lewiston High School in Lewiston, Maine (LeBlanc, 2010). Anecdotal results indicate student discipline violations for electronic devices in classrooms have fallen now that students have a time of the school day where electronic devices are allowed (LeBlanc, 2010). LeBlanc, C. (2010, October 10). School climate, technology, and discipline. Sun Journal. Retrieved from http://www.sunjournal.com/family- 2010/story/918258
STUDENTS CAMPAIGN FOR CELL PHONES INSCHOOLS Increasing student organization, student newspapers are trying to raise the awareness level of adults in schools (teachers, administrato rs, etc.) in order to have student cell http://lahstalon.org/Archived_Issues/ 10_11/Issue5.pdf phone policies revised.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE ADIFFERENCE? Check your school’s cell phone usage policy Speak to administrators at both the campus and district levels with the goal of raising awareness at the futility of a prohibitive policy Be sure to stress that using a cell phone for cheating or plagiarism is never an authorized or educational use of a student cell phone—meet them where their first concern is. Be persistent! It may take a while for a change to happen, but it really is only a matter of time as schools must compete with virtual schools!