Tuesday, March 10, 2015

For the love of smart phones

Allow or not to allow that is the question when cell phones enter the classroom. Until recently I was not a huge fan of using cell phones in the classroom. Perhaps it was the group of students I was teaching, but this year these little devices have come in handy in more ways than one. 

Every student has access to a free agenda at the beginning of the year to record important tests, projects and assignments. I have yet to come across a student who actually uses their agenda for the purpose they were designed for. At the end of the day they are a glorified hall pass. Teaching students to use their agenda appropriately can be compared to teaching them a foreign language. 

Part of each classes routine is to fill in the lessons objective in their agenda for the day. To be honest having them write the lessons objective is insurance on my behalf. First of all I can skip the silly lesson objective opener that educators are supposed to include each day. "Now today students the objective is to comprehend the stories theme..." Second of all I can go back and show them that they were in fact taught figurative language even though they claim they were not taught this concept. Sure they grumble about filling in their agendas, but it is part of the education game so we play along. 

I do not make them write their homework in their agenda because I know and they know that they will not remember to complete their homework by writing in their agendas. Instead I have resorted to them taking a picture of their homework and making it their lock screen on their phone or tablet. And you want to know something. They remember to complete their homework when it is plastered to the front of their phone compared to hidden in their agenda. I believe the good ole' fashioned agenda days are numbered. 

Not only do smart phones ease the pain of remembering homework, but writing essays as well. It was only a matter of time before a student turned in their essay on a phone and not an actual piece of paper. To make this even better this argumentative essay was on if cell phones should be allowed in the classroom. Oh the irony. 

1 comment :

  1. As an Assistant Principal cell phones are a constant thorn in my side however the learning potential is incredible. An aspect of your post intrigued me as there's an argument in the UK at the moment - seemingly sparked by a book by Debra Kidd which suggests, at a conservative estimate, that UK children are wasting 32.5 hours each academic year in recording learning objectives down...and why? As a means of evidence/proving that the content was covered...with little or no impact on teaching and learning for the student... seems a little ridiculous really...in reality does it benefit our students to record the LO? Really like the blog by the way - all the best :)


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