Tuesday, December 13, 2011

10 Talking Points to Lift the Ban on Cell Phones

If you want to begin the process necessary to lift bans on cell in your school or district, create responsible use agreements, and change school policy these talking points will help. These are the talking points you'll need to be prepared whether you are talking with (or happen to be) your building principal, classroom teacher, district administration, school board, policy review committee, or any combination of these.

Ten Talking Points to Lift The Ban and Begin Using Cell Phones for Learning 
  1. Harness the power of the tools already in student's pockets - The ubiquitous use of cell phones by our students illustrates the reason why we should allow cell phones, with an acceptable use agreement, and utilize the tools available on them for learning purposes inside and outside the classroom. Students are motivated to use them! The majority of our secondary students are sitting in classrooms with cell phones in their pockets regardless of the ban.  Integrating cell phones is a student desired educational enhancement, making it very likely to be successful due to the bottom-up approach.

  1. Cell phones have educational capabilities built in - Cell phones have many educational capabilities: Calculator, Clock, Calendar, Picture/Video, Stop Watch, Text Messaging for Communication/writing, Internet, Polling... Cell phones are used to support and enhance current research-based instructional strategies. 

  1. Save money for your school - Using student cell phone capabilities as educational tools is FREE, no hardware or software purchases required.

  1. Little to no learning curve - Most educators already own and are familiar with cell phone technologies, thus integration would not require a large amount of time consuming and costly training. All it would take is an open mind. Students can teach educators how the tools can be used for learning.

  1. Decrease discipline issues - Utilizing cell phones for educational purposes should reduce phone-related discipline issues. Working with students to establish appropriate and inappropriate uses is useful in developing proper etiquette for use both at school and in the community. It teaches self control, boundaries, and compliance.

  1. Reduce cheating with cell phones - With acceptance of cell phones in classrooms and established policies and protocols in place, students will know what is acceptable. During assessment students and teachers will have established if cell phones should be out on their desks, under their desk, collected in a basket, or, just maybe, used as part of assessment. Consideration: If the answer is already available in a student's pocket, on demand, are we really assessing what is relevant in the 21st century?

  1. Cell phones can be used to support research-based strategies - Cell phones can support research-based educational strategies while engaging learners and enhancing instruction.  There are numerous research-based instructional strategies that can be enhanced with the use of cell phones.

  1. Help your school go green with the tools students already own - Cell phones and text message communication are environmentally friendly and fit the trend of many schools to decrease paper.  There are even a few schools across the nation that have become paperless.

  1. Establish a positive educational environment - An acceptable use agreement developed with the educators and students and shared with the school community can help establish a positive educational climate.

  1. Many educators are already having success with cell phones in their classroom -
    Find them by:

    -->Reading their stories in this blog
    -->Connecting with them in your community
    -->Joining the Teaching Generation Text Facebook group
    -->Following #mlearning on Twitter

For more ideas about effective ways to use cell phones for learning, including research-based strategies, lessons, and more order Teaching Generation Text

1 comment:

  1. Great post Lisa. I sometimes take for granted just how lucky I am to work in a school that not only allows student to carry and use cellphones, but that actively looks for ways to use them for learning. Your post reminded me that there are still many less enlightened schools that need to get their heads out of dark places.

    I wrote a post about cell phone use nearly 3 years ago that, although it's getting a little dated in terms of the technology it mentions, you might find interesting. http://chrisbetcher.com/2009/02/computers-in-their-pockets/

    Thanks again for writing this list... I'm sure many people will find it useful in their battle with their fearful administrators.


    PS: hope to see you at ISTE again this year!