During a session at the Consortium for School Networking’s 13th annual K-12 School Networking Conference in Arlington, Va., on March 10, panelists discussed whether cell phones present an opportunity—or a distraction—for schools. And conference attendees learned that schools in at least one state, North Carolina, have embraced cell phones as tools for instruction.

The argument over whether cell phones should be banned from classrooms “is an intense one, and it’s one that’s going to be brought up more and more, as more students use cell phones to communicate,” said Sheryl Abshire, CoSN board chair.

Abshire gave an example...

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