Effective Use of Cell Phones in the Classroom

I know that we all have our opinions on cell phones within the walls of the school building.  They have their problems when it comes to appropriate times of use and causing distractions in a classroom.  One school even went so far as to turn a profit on “checking phones”.  Students will check their phones in, receive a ticket for it, and pick it up at the end of the day for a fee of $3.  The aim here is to prevent students from bringing them to school to disrupt instruction, but in this article they could be used as a valuable resource.

One way phones could be used effectively to find information is to send a text message to google at 46645 (GOOGL) and within seconds receive information about the topic you wanted to know more about.  I tried it out by sending one to Google about the population of Ireland.  I composed a text messaged that said Ireland population and sent it to 46645 and a couple seconds later got what I wanted to know.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever because I didn’t need a computer to get what I wanted to know.

While this may be a cool way of retrieving information, it may not be something that we will see within the near future.  I think there are too many issues within schools in regards to cell phones that administrators will not jump on board for the integration of them into classroom instruction.  However, maybe in the distant future we will see the benefits of such a tool that will lead us to experimentation and adoption into the curriculum phone use with search engines like Google.  You never know.

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3 Responses to “Effective Use of Cell Phones in the Classroom”

  1. Just to add my two cents about it, I think that Cell phones should be kept in lockers or back packs and not seen or heard during the school day. Sometime I let my students use their phones for the calculators because we are short on them. This helps me out, but I don’t want to hear one ringing or see students Texting during class. There are so many ways that students can cheat with them. They also cause privacy issues with the cameras in locker rooms, so their needs to be limits, but I feel that if you have one, I shouldn’t see it unless I permit it.

  2. I went to the WinterJam Fest concert last Thursday (in Huntington, WV) and they were giving away door prizes. There were two ways to enter. One, you could fill out the paper in the program and drop it in the box (which I never found) or you could send a text to a number. I was curious, so I sent the text and got an instant reply back. Of course I wasn’t a winner 😦 but I thought it was an interesting way and much quicker.

  3. I haven’t had any issues with students and their use of cell phones (I teach 4th and 5th grade students who have moderate and severe disabilities) because none of mine bring them to school. But, I just wanted to say that I use my phone for two purposes during the school day. First, I use it when I do a daily calendar-weather exercise. I put it on speakerphone and call the local time/temperature number. The students listen to the temperature and we various activities that we do with the information, such as marking it on a thermometer, discussing the temperature differences from on day to the next, etc. etc. I also keep it on vibrate and in my pocket at times when my assistant is out and about with students just in case she should need to get in touch with me quickly, such as if there is an emergency or other situation. It is a faster means of communicating in the event a problem arises.


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