Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reading Ten

Cell phones in the classroom, really? Although I do believe that technology allows for more interactive and engaging lessons, cell phones do not fit under this category. I have seen the program being used as a teaching tool in various high school classes and there was little success in its implementation. In one class I observed the teacher thought it was a success when only eight students responded meanwhile the others were texting, playing games etc. I understand that it is nearly impossible to achieve 100% participation, but I don`t think that the use of cell phones would contribute to this achievement.

Cell phones are distracting devices that disrupt the learning environment. In the article a teacher suggests that it will help regulate the use of cell phones, because students won`t be sneaky with their cell phone use. I find it hard to believe that if a student sees their phone blinking from the corner of their eye they are not going to check it. I find it very discouraging that this is suggested as a classroom tool.  The problem is once you use it as a tool it as seen as being an acceptable device in the classroom making it impossible to regulate. Students live in the cyber world for the better part of their day and I think that is important for their personal health to unplug.

Although I have been quite negative towards the use of cells phones, I do believe that there is one benefit in its use. Cell phones in the classroom allow students to have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. Students use their cell phones in class for online translators, though they are not supposed to. I always encourage the use of dictionnaries in classroom because it provides a more accurate translation of words. In addition to this, I think we need to teach students the «traditional» way of learning through paper texts etc. because this is still a strategy used in every day life.

Every teacher will have their own views on the implementation of cell phones, but I think that there needs to be common rules on its use. During my practicum, I often heard students complaining about teachers taking cell phones, while other teachers encouraged the use of cell phones. I don`t think it`s fair for students to be able to rely on their cell phones in one class and then get in trouble in another class. 

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