The last 2 of the debates were very interesting. The cell phone debate was the one I was looking forward to the most. So, here were our topics:
Topic 1: Cellphones should be banned in the classroom – This one had 3 categories – yes, no, and only in k-8.
Topic 2: Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression.
Topic 1 had a lot of passionate responses. As a soon to be high school teacher, I feel that students should not have to hand over and lock away their phones all day. Phones and tablets serve many purposes like listening to music, using them in classroom games, and other things. I also think it is an issue of trust. At the beginning, I would not allow phones in class, and when I see students understand how my classroom functions, then I would let them use phones for certain things. Finally, when I trust that the students will not misuse their phones (playing games, texting, anything distracting), then they can have their phones. They prove I can trust them and I will reward that with giving them more freedom. I do think students in grade 8 and below do not really need phones, but again in grade 7 and 8 it can be useful for the same reasons in high school.
Overall, I do not think students should be completely banned from their phones. It is their property, and teachers use and have their phones on them all the time. It would be hypocritical if we say students cannot have any access to their phones. I like the idea of cell phone pockets, and you just need to ask to use it while in class.
Topic 2: This topic is a bit of a tougher one. I personally believe that advocating for social issues is very important, but I am not one who posts a lot of Facebook, Instagram, or any of my private accounts. On my professional account however, I do think it is important to bring attention to these issues. With this as well, I think it is more important to get involved in educating students on human rights issues, and actually doing something about it (participating in rallies, demonstrations, or donating, etc). I think being involved not on social media is more important, but social media is the best way to spread awareness.