Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cell phone use in school



There was recently an article in NY Review of Books about cell phone trucks. In New York City there is a city-wide cell phone ban in public schools. Private companies provide storage trucks (for $1 a day) so students can leave their phones before going to class.

I imagine this isn't a problem too many teachers are willing to get fired up about. Maybe. The cost for 'poor' youth is high. And it makes sense their parents want to be able to contact them as they traverse the city streets on their way home. 

"... the cell phone trucks were, they felt, an outrage. Their phones are not merely a way of getting in touch with friends, but a necessity for their safety". 
It really seems absurd. One thing the article doesn't mention is the benefit of cell phones IN school. That probably sounds a bit crazy seeing as how most kids can't resist texting in class or otherwise not paying attention. Really though, kids have always found ways to ignore the teacher if they want to. I don't know if cell phones are really the problem there.

It strikes me as a missed opportunity. Cell phones can be used in lessons and other beneficial learning activities. They are now a common part of daily life and possibly a necessary one for many people. It is unfortunate to say the least these students have to miss out. I think it's unfortunate as well for the educators. It could be a great way to reach students .

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