News

Why cellphones belong in our classrooms

Nancy Amling
March 17th, 2015

As NYC lifts its infamous cellphone ban, one local principal sees nothing but possibilities

cellphone-learningAs the principal of Hudson High School of Learning Technologies in Manhattan, I know firsthand how cellphones can both help students stay in touch in today’s world and how they can be a valuable teaching and learning tool in the school setting. The New York City Department of Education’s recent decision to lift the cellphone ban in schools—a decision I support—acknowledges and affirms this notion.

At Hudson HSLT, we strive to create an academically rigorous and personalized environment that prepares all of our students to be college- and career-ready. We want our students to be critical thinkers, ones who practice the art of questioning and are able to deconstruct, reconstruct, and communicate information in today’s society.

We believe that the use of technology, including cellphones, when implemented purposefully to support classroom instruction, can help foster these skills.

Hudson HSLT is a digitally-focused and device-agnostic one-to-one computing school; we look at technology as a support for teaching and learning. Day-to-day, our teachers might use mobile devices in class for their daily drop-everything-and-read (DEAR) activity or to let students work on their class blogging assignments.

But we don’t ignore the larger issues surrounding technology’s role in the classroom, and students aren’t expected to navigate through using technology by themselves.

Next page: Managing the digital divide