Cell Phones at School – How Can We Incorporate Them?

Young people use them. That’s a reason they use the hoodie – to conceal their cell phone use. The problem is that the schools don’t appear to want them on campus and don’t appreciate their educational potential. There’s often a sign at the entrance: “This is NOT a cell phone zone.”

I’m old, that is, years ago, I got into trouble for just using and having a landline to hook my computer into the internet. The principal used to lock that phone in a safe to keep me from using it. How far we have come.

Chris Dede and the FCC chairman think they will help to vault the digital divide. Will they? Maya Cohen is conducting an online discussion to answer this question: “Cell Phones at School: Should They Be Allowed?

My question to ETCJ readers is, How can we, as teachers, incorporate cell phones into our curricula? Please share your strategies and ideas. It seems such a waste to ignore or even ban this extremely portable, anytime-anywhere communication medium.

2 Responses

  1. Bonnie, wonderful topic! Instead of viewing cell phones as a nuisance, educators ought to think of ways to incorporate them into learning activities.

    In my mind, iPhones ought to be considered basic learning equipment. All students ought to have one. If they can’t afford it, then the school should assist. Service fees should also be factored into the aid.

    Instructors should then integrate cell phones into their pedagogy as a variation of netbook computers. With a few more features, cell phones could easily supplant netbooks.

    Without the bulk and with photo, video, sound, phone, texting, and web capabilities, we’re really looking at the future of e-learning. -Jim S

  2. Cell phones. I am in anguish because I lost mine. I have not cut my land line, but my cell phone, except for the cost, is the most convenient tool, toy , thing I have.
    I use it for a variety of reasons, and cherish the things it can do, even if I don’t do all of them. I smile when I remember what it was like before cell phones were commonplace. I remember being the coolest teacher because I had a cell phone. Never mind it was large. I liked being able to be connected , anywhere anytime, any place. Then I had a rude awakening. I also discovered why a friend of mine had TWO cell phones. Coverage in some areas and some not. We are talking Virginia, when you drop down from Richmond in many places you are in no man’s land because no matter how fancy your phone is, IT DOES NOT WORK. How can that be in this day and age.

    Then in my family kids at 8 get a cell phone. For safety reasons I am told. I am not a parent, but I have watched the conversations. What is your take on the use of cell phones for students? Good, bad , whatever?


    The FCC thinks that the cell phone will be the final push for vaulting the digital divide, but

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