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Weighing the Pros and Cons of Cell Phone Use as an Educational Tool In Schools


Samantha Evans

on 3 November 2012

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Transcript of Weighing the Pros and Cons of Cell Phone Use as an Educational Tool In Schools

Weighing the Pros
and Cons of Cell Phones as an Educational Tool
in Schools

Samantha Evans Proposed School Policy:
Safety Students need to be educated on how to be safe when using a mobile phone and the internet
Teachers need to talk to students about consequences for sending inappropriate pictures or text messages and cyberbullying
Students should also be taught phone etiquette (when you should and shouldn't use your phone, how to send professional e-mails and text messages, etc.)
(Fredrick, 2011) Facts There are over 4 billion cell phone users worldwide (Fredrick, 2011)
About 84% of students of students own cell
phones (Thomas & McGee, 2012)
About 85% of adults own cell phones
(Thomas & McGee, 2012)
Over 70% of U.S. schools ban cell phones and the other 30% has strict use policies (Pascopella, 2009) Research has shown there are many
benefits to using cell phones as an
educational tool in schools.
There is much hesitation and reluctance
among administrators and
teachers to allow cell phones to
be used in schools for various reasons.
This presentation will focus on the reasons
many schools have not adopted cell phones
in their schools as a means of
educational technology, the advantages
of using cell phones as an educational tool
and my proposed strategy on how schools
can effectively integrate the use of
cell phones into
classroom instruction. Issues Regarding Cell Phones in Schools 1. Cheating Administrators & teachers are afraid that allowing students to have cell phones in class will increase incidences of cheating on tests and quizzes
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) Response Students cheat for many reasons including pressure to do well from parents, erosion of ethics, self-centeredness and not being held responsible for their actions, NOT because of a device. Because of this, students should be educated on cheating and the consequences of cheating
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) 2. Cyberbullying Suggestion Asking students to put their cell phones at the front of the room on the day of a test or quiz will limit students ability to cheat
(Pascopella, 2009) Many school administrators believe there will be increased incidences of cyber bullying among students Response Banning cell phones will not stop students from bullying. Bullies are concerned about power and social status and will find ways to bully a student no matter what
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) Inappropriate behavior is due to a lack of guidance and mentoring on the part of adults regarding proper use of technology. Students are injured in car accidents each year but the car is not blamed. The same should be true of phones
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) Response 3. Inappropriate pictures/language Administrators are concerned that inappropriate photos and text messaging could transpire during class time Suggestion Instead of banning cell phones, schools should spend more time educating students about bullying and behavior over the internet
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) Suggestion Once again, teachers should educate students on safety and the internet and describe possible consequences for their actions 3. Use of Textese
(texting language) Teachers are worried that the more students use cell phones, the more their "texting language" will be used in writing assignments rather than proper English
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) Response Students can "code switch", which means they have the ability to change how they communicate, depending on the situation. (i.e. talking with friends vs. talking with grandparents
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) Studies have shown that texting does not negatively affect students' writing skills but actually showed better writing and spelling skills among students who texted more (Thomas & McGee, 2012) Safety Concerns: - 68% of police officers believe that cell phone use in
schools would hamper school safety in a crisis (Obringer & Coffey, 2007)

- First responders are concerned that in case there was a situation at school, students would be distracted with cell phones and could miss life saving directions

- First responders also believe that students would text and call parents if there was a dangerous situation at school and parents would flock to the school, impeding first responders

- Students having the ability to call parents instantaneously would hinder effective lock downs and evacuations in emergency situations and jam phone lines in the case of an actual emergency (Trump, 2009) Some more concerns: - Students phoning
in bomb threats

- Distractions to the
learning environment
(Obringer & Coffey, 2007)

- Fear of backlash
from community &

- Fear that students
are more technologically
advanced than teachers
(Pascopella, 2009) Teacher Viewpoint "I am all for the proper integration of as much technology as possible into our classrooms. I am, however, absolutely, fully, totally against cell phone use as a teaching tool. Cell phones do not have a place in our classrooms as such. Although it would definitely be part of a school board’s discussion on integrating cell phones into their schools, I’m not going to spend time on the fact that students would use them for purposes other than educational. They already do that, even when they are not being used as a tool. There are plenty of other negatives to focus on." - Josh Allen, an instructional technology facilitator for schools
("Should cell phones," 2007) (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr Advantages of Using Cell Phones in Schools Motivation - Students are living in a world that requires digital literacy and not incorporating technology will decrease motivation

- Cell phones are intrinsically motivating for students and students will be more engaged in the learning process
(Van De Bogart, 2011) Digital Literacy - Students have digital literacy skills when it comes to using Facebook, Twitter, blogging, sharing photos, and finding information on google

- Students need to develop digital literacy skills for critical thinking strategies and analyzing & interpreting information from the internet
(Van De Bogart, 2011)

- Teachers can show students how to use a cell phone to organize, network, schedule and gather data for professional growth, preparing students for 21st century jobs
(Kolb, 2011) Self- Assessment There are many different features and websites teachers can incorporate into their lessons for students to assess their learning
(using podcasts in language classes where students can play back their speaking activity and using formative assessment questions with classroom poll tools, are some examples)
(Van De Bogart, 2011) Saving Money Using
Cell Phones - Since 84% of all students already have cell phones, schools don't have to spend as much money on expensive hardware and software

- If students do not already own a cell phone, they can be given an alternative tool (laptop, desktop, iPad, school cell phone to access the internet
(Kolb, 2011) Learning anytime, anywhere Students have the flexibility to learn whenever, wherever they want with the capabilities to stay connected with cell phones
(Kolb, 2011) Class Time is Precious - Technology based learning assignments can be done outside of the classroom

- Students do not need to bring paper copies of homework and can send assignments to the teacher or post them to a wiki or discussion board
(Kolb, 2011) Research Study:
Asking students they would like teachers to use cell phones for - Listening to teacher reading passages
with mp3 files sent to cell
- Teacher to send back feedback from
assignments using text messages
- Teacher to send reading passages with
underlined words to practice vocabulary
- Teacher to assign students reading
assignments from the internet
- Students record passages for word pronunciation and sends to teacher to review
- Students to listen to passages read by the teacher to practice listening skills
(Van De Bogart, 2011) A study was done that surveyed 142 college freshman about the cell phone policies in their high schools.
Here are some of their opinions:
(Humble-Thaden, 2011) Mobile Etiquette and Safety Teachers and administrators need to educate students on internet safety and etiquette students should follow when using cell phones. Regardless of whether students are using cell phones in school or not, students need to know proper use and safety rules
(Kolb, 2011) Differentiating for Students - Teachers can use multiple applications with students to address multiple intelligences (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, etc.)
(Gillard & Bailey, 2007)

- Mobile phones can also empower students who have visual or hearing impairments.
www.google.com/Voice and
are two websites that may be helpful for students with visual and/or hearing impairments
(Kolb, 2011) Teacher Viewpoint "Currently a basic cell phone has the ability to be the students’ “Swiss Army knife” of technology. Part of an educator’s job is to help students safely navigate the media world. There are businesses that are completely mobile, and job interviews that are done via phone. Students need to learn how to use their social devices as a professional tool if they want to be competitive in the future. Currently, students are unaware of cell phone etiquette.
Allowing cell phones to become learning tools will give teachers the opportunity to introduce appropriate cell phone etiquette to students as well as show them how their toy can become an essential professional tool." - Liz Kolb
Was a teacher and technology specialist but now works as an adjunct professor at Madonna University
("Should cell phones," 2007) Uses of Mobile Phones as an Educational Tool in the Classroom Proposed School Policy:
Educating Students Proposed School Policy:
Other things to consider Works Cited Resources Text Messaging Sending information to students about homework/test/important school information
Communication from student to student
Assessment tool- SMS based test preparation (Thomas & McGee, 2012) Digital Images Digital storytelling
Phonecasting (Gcast, VoiceThread, Yodio) that converts phone messages about photos into podcasts
Can be used to enhance multimedia projects
QE codes- scan the code before leaving class and content is automatically sent to students' phones (YouTube videos, e-mail, text messages, etc.)
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) Podcasting Phonecasting will convert audio files into podcasts
Can be posted on class wikis, blogs or websites
Can edit podcasts and create a video with images using iMovie or Movie Maker
Appeals to audio & visual learners
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) Internet Access E-mailing vocabulary
Using educational apps
Google Earth
Geotagging (puts pictures with location taken on a map) using Picassa or Panoramio
Conducting Research
Using online textbooks
(Thomas & McGee, 2012) Poll Everywhere Polleverywhere.com
Where students can respond to questions by typing in their answer and data will pop up on the Smartboard
Students are anonymous so they feel comfortable contributing
(Kolb, 2011) Other Uses Twitter- students can post questions, interesting news or comments on a class twitter page
eBooks- Google's eBook service has an app for cell phones that allows access to many free books (Fredrick, 2011)
SMS (short message service) responds to students' questions from an internet knowledge base
(Van De Bogart, 2011) http://www.Flagr.com- create maps
http://geograffiti.com - creates voice mars or audiopostings to specific map locations
http://Yodio.com - enables students to create storybooks with their phone
http://dial2do.com - use to set up HW reminders
http://flickr.com & http://photobucket.com -
take pictures, add descriptions and send them to an online photo sharing website
http://polleverywhere.com & http://wiffiti.com - turns cell phones into clickers for instant polls, quizzes and attendance
http://chacha.com - sends questions by texting chacha and it will respond with an answer to your question (2007, December). Should cell phones be banned from classrooms?. Learning & Leading with Technology. pp. 8-9.

Beth Humble-Thaden, M. M. (2011). Student reflective perceptions of high school educational cell phone technology usage. Journal Of Technology Studies, 37(1), 10-16.

Fredrick, K. (2011). Calling all cell phone users!. School Library Monthly, 27(6), 40-41.

Gaer, S. (2011). Cell phones in the classrooms? Yes!. Adult Basic Education & Literacy Journal, 5(3), 176-180.

Gillard, S., & Bailey, D. (2007). Technology in the classroom: Overcoming obstacles, reaping rewards. International Journal Of Learning, 14(1), 87-93.

Kolb, L. (2011). Adventures with cell phones. Educational Leadership, 68(5), 39-43.

Obringer, S., & Coffey, K. (2007). Cell phones in american high schools: A national survey. Journal Of Technology Studies, 33(1), 41-47.

Pascopella, A. (2009). From cell phone skeptic to evangelist. District Administration, 45(10/11), 40-41.

Royal, K. (2010). Rethinking cell phones. Scholastic Administrator, 10(2), 34.

Thomas, K., & McGee, C. (2012). The only thing we have to fear is... 120 characters. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 56(1), 19-33. doi:10.1007/s11528-011-0550-4

Trump, K. S. (2009). Professional opinion: Is it safe to allow cell phones in school?. District Administration, 45(10/11), 38.

Van De Bogart, W. (2011). Adopting cell phones in the classroom: A study of students' attitudes and behaviors on using cell phones both in and out of the classroom. Proceedings Of The International Conference On Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organizational Learning, 571-579. There needs to be a secure, protected network that students must connect to when using cell phones
Districts need to regulate school use and applications (There should still be restricted sites for students even if using their own phone) (Royal, 2010) For cell phones to be used in classrooms as an educational tool, there are some policies that must be put in place to make sure mobile phones are enhancing student learning and not becoming a distraction or safety concern. Here are some points administrators should consider adding to their cell phone policy: Send a permission slip home to parents at the beginning of the year explaining intended uses and how cell phones can be used as a helpful educational tool
Require students to have phones be visible on student work spaces
Require students to put their phone in a bin at the front of the room on a day of a test or quiz
Give consequences to students if they are found not using the phone for educational purposes (detention, future opportunities for phone use suspended, call parents, etc.) (Kolb, 2011) (Humble-Thaden, 2011)
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