Debate #6: Cellphones Should Be Banned in the Classroom
(Week #5: Post #2)
Looking Forward to Hearing from YOU!
This is an especially interesting topic to me, and I think that most people fall on one side or the other, and only a few fall right down the middle. I am interested to hear what other people have to say about this topic, especially how their own experiences have shaped their feelings. I know that there are a few of us in the course that aren’t social media users, and there are also a few that are very active, so it’s always interesting to see what people have to say. I think that both of the topics for this week fit together nicely, and I think that points brought up this week could be interchanged for either debate. Very interesting, indeed!
On the agree side of the debate we heard from Echo, Lovepreet, and Amanpreet who presented us with the following resources: Banning Mobile Phones from Classrooms (article), Changing Our Mindset in Regards to Cellphones in the Classroom (article), and Cell Phones, Student Rights, and School Safety: Finding the Right Balance (article). To view their opening statement, check it out here.
Some of the main points that the group addressed are the following:
- Cellphones are Addictive & Distracting
- Technology Companies are Harvesting, Collecting, Sharing, and Selling Data and Personal Information
- Regulation is Difficult
- Provides Opportunities for Distracted Learning
- Promotes No-Mobile Phobia (Nomophobia)
No Way! Debate
The disagree side was brought to us by Bret, Reid, and Leona, who presented us with the following resources: Should Students Be Allowed to Use Cellphones in Schools (video), I Hate the No Cellphones in School Rule (video), Developing Student Critical Consciousness: Twitter as a Tool to Apply Critical Literacy in the English Classroom (article), Cellphones at School: Should They Be Allowed? (article), and finally, Cellphones in School: 11 Reasons Why They Should Be Allowed (article). Check out their opening statement video here.
Some of the main points that our group addressed are the following:
- Lessens the Digital Divide Gaps in the Classroom
- Promotes Collaborative Learning and Engagement
- Phones are a Way of Life
- Perfect for Teaching Kiddos in a Safe and Controlled Environment
- Promotes Good Digital Citizenship Learning
A Few Thoughts & Interpretations
I have been teaching for over a decade now (let’s not put an actual number to the years… you know… aging myself and all), and I’ve seen quite the pendulum swing from one side to the other, and back again on several topics. This is one of those topics that seems to trend every few years. I have seen both extremes of promoting whole-heartedly the BYOD (bring your own device) philosophy, to the other extreme of absolutely no cellphones. But where do I stand on this topic you may ask?
Well, if used properly and with the right policies in place, BYOD is super helpful to bridge the access and digital divide gaps that we see in our schools. I found that the best way to approach this, is to have a school-wide policy that discusses the importance of technology, what proper technology looks like, and appropriate versus inappropriate places to use the technology (such as the bathroom, etc.). It’s important that students know that there are consistent rules across the older grades especially, and there is also then an accountability piece to it as well. Again, teaching that digital citizenship and etiquette piece. If students are taking pictures of others, what happens to their technology privileges and so on. This is important to set up at the beginning of the school year and then revisited often.
Along with the school-wide policy, then discussing it in the classroom is important. Talking about what good technology does and does not look like with concrete examples is fundamental. Technology is not leaving the hands of our kiddos, and it’s important that they are learning how to use it properly. Like Jennifer talked about in her opening video, we don’t throw kids in a pool if they don’t know how to swim. We teach them how to swim, give constant reminders and support for swimming techniques and safety, and gradually release them, with constant supervision for many years. So why do we put some of the most constantly changing social media platforms into the hands of kiddos and expect that they are going to be angels 100% of the time? This is an unrealistic and harmful approach to digital citizenship and helping kiddos learn.
Again, I strongly agree that with good pedagogical practices and good procedures and policies in place (that are not too rigid that it takes all creativity away from teachers, etc.) BYOD in the classroom is advantageous to both staff and students and allows a greater spread of access to technology and the internet. Is there more for teachers to regulate? I guess so, but kiddos are going to access social media regardless of what device they are using, school-provided or not, and we need to do a better job of educating kiddos about proper uses of technology and how they can be good digital citizens.
Embrace It, or Toss It?
As always, thanks for popping by. I know all Y’all are super busy, especially with yearend looming and report cards coming in hot! Feel free to leave a general comment, answer one (or more if you’d like) of the below-prompting questions, or simply like this post! Happy blogging Y’all! Hang in there!
- Have you ever experienced a school-wide technology policy? If so, what were some of the benefits and downfalls of it? Or, what would you have changed and why?
- How do you feel about BYOD initiatives in your own classroom?
- Do you have a different opinion about BYOD initiatives as a parent?
- What is the greatest reason you have for not encouraging BYOD in your classroom?
- Were there any points that you wish either side had dug deeper into? If so, how do you think this would have changed the overall debate?