Sunday, March 8, 2015

Cells Phones in the Classroom?

I read an article about cell phones being used in the classroom. Though, all the articles I read mostly had cell phones being used as polling agents. Here is one of the articles I read http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/05/how-teachers-make-cell-phones-work-in-the-classroom/ . I have experienced cell phone use in a classroom when I observed a Geometry classroom. The teacher didn't not promote the use of cell phones, but if his students lacked a calculator he allowed them to use their cell phone. The only time he would not allow the students to use their cell phone is when they were getting to more trigonometry based criteria. The only reason he wouldn't allow them the use of their cell phones was that the accuracy of the sine function and cosine function are extremely off within the scientific calculator of a phone. I also experienced one within my Middle School Applications class this semester where we all took a poll with our phones. I was pretty excited to find a cheaper way to get in polls without having a clicker (which is a required device within some of the classes at SDSU). The way Jen Weber had it set up in the classroom was very easy. It was just a location to send a text message to. There was far less technical problems with the polling than my experience with the clickers. One of the downfalls with a phone is that the clicker lights up the moment you send in an option to the poll, where with the phone you are unable to tell if your message was registered.
Thinking about active use of a cell phone in the classroom makes me a bit weary as a future educator, because during my high school years I had a lot of class clowns within my classes. If they had the option of using their cell phone in the class, they would most likely pull too many pranks using their cell phones, one way or another. I do like the idea of using a cell phone enough in class that students will start to view their own cell phone device as a tool for the classroom and not a distraction. For this idea to work the use of cell phones must be thoroughly planned within the lesson plan, because if not worked in just right I do believe students will take advantage of the use of cell phones. If cell phones are not being used for polling, but being used as a calculator instead, I feel more students will use their device for a distraction and not for learning. More teachers seem to be moving toward technology into the classroom, but I hope the teachers are using discretion on when a cell phone is used within the classroom.