Panel: Cell phones have much potential in classrooms


Then there are teachers who want to use mobile technology in the classroom but don’t know how to incorporate it into their curriculum, Keren-Kolb said.

Rogers acknowledged that allowing students to use cell phones in class could enable students to cheat, but he said teachers could focus on promoting digital literacy and have the students sign social contracts before they are allowed to use the phones.

“If a kid’s caught cheating, we don’t take the cell phone, we punish the student,” he said. “If a student is caught cheating using pen and paper, you don’t take the pen and paper.”

Common Sense Media also announced the release of a white paper, “Do Smart Phones = Smart Kids?,” which examines the positive and negative effects of mobile technology on kids, families, and schools.

Key findings include:

  • In 2009, 75 percent of teens had a cell phone, and mobile phone use is growing even faster among younger kids. These handheld devices are rapidly becoming mini-computers, enabling users to text, download apps, and access resources anywhere, anytime—and many kids are taking advantage of the opportunity.
  • U.S. teens send or receive more than 3,000 texts per month, on average.
  • While computers are still the main way to go online, about one in four teens gets online with the help of other devices, including cell phones, game consoles, or portable gaming.

The white paper recommends that parents think carefully about when kids need mobile phones and encourages them to set rules and limits on how and when to use them.

The paper also encourages educators to teach digital literacy and citizenship in K-12 schools, so all students learn how to use digital and mobile media in safe, smart, and responsible ways.

Links:

Common Sense Media

Passage Middle School

Note to readers:

Don’t forget to visit the Enterprising Instruction resource center. Using data to inform instruction is one of the Obama administration’s keys to effective school reform, and technology is helping a growing number of educators accurately identify their students’ needs and deliver targeted—and timely—interventions when appropriate. To benefit fully from such a data-driven instructional model, schools need a system for tying their instructional and administrative processes together—in effect, bringing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) approach to the classroom. Go to:

Enterprising Instruction

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