Education of Tomorrow

February 16, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Education Group @ 10:07 am

At this day and age cell phones have become very much of a “must have” item. Even children are now joining this wireless revolution. According to C&R Research over 20% of 6-9 year old and 60% of 10-14 year olds in North America own a cell phone. This of course can pose some problems when they are brought into a classroom setting. They have been argued to be a distraction for students, especially when used for text messaging. This You Tube video is a portion of a Simpsons episode that touches on the issue of students using their cell phones. It is a comical video that may be a touch over the top but it does show some realistic concerns.  It shows the new teacher using text messaging to communicate with the students.

Texts have now replaced the old methods of communication within a classroom, such as passing notes. The problem with this is that it can be harder to detect their use and it makes it so much easier for students to cheat. If a text message can be so cheap and easy to send, it increases the temptation to send a message to a classmate during a test to check your answers.

Although this is a viable concern, cell phones and more particularly smartphones, offer a number of advantages when used wisely in a classroom setting. Most of these phones now offer access to the internet, where with the click of a few buttons one can have access to an unlimited source of information. One tutor in favour of cell phones in a class setting said “The ability to quickly look up math formulas and examples on my smartphone is an invaluable tool during study time” (Cellular-news). If students were to take advantage of this source of knowledge having a cell phone within their classroom could become almost a necessity.

Cell phones also have the capability to capture pictures which, when used appropriately can be helpful for students. Say you were unable to keep up with the teacher’s notes, or your friend missed a class, you could quickly snap a picture of the notes for yourself to copy down later or to send to your friend. It can be a helpful tool to keep up a buddy system which can prevent students from falling behind. This also makes it easier for the teacher, so they do not always have to worry about making and extra set of notes for absent students. Of course these cameras have been known to enhance one’s ability to take part in cyber bullying, but again it comes down to the responsibility of the user to decide how to properly use this piece of technology.

As far as it can be seen, cell phones probably won’t become a mandatory learning tool in classrooms across the board. Although they have a number of useful features to help enhance a student’s learning experience, there are still too many irresponsible teenagers who abuse the power that comes with this technology. However, some teachers may opt to allow the use of cell phones in their classroom, while others may ban it completely. In the end, it comes down to how the students choose to use these devices; whether as helpful tools or just another way to cause trouble, it is up to them.

Christodulu, Suzzie. “Cell Phones in Education: Resource or Distraction?” Cellular-news | Daily News from the Telecoms Industry. Web. 04 Feb. 2011. .
This article discusses the issue of whether cell phones should be banned from schools. It references statistics from various tutors and how they feel cell phones help or inhibit the learning environment of their students.

Kennedy, Robert. “Cell Phones – Using Cell Phones at School.” Private Schools – Data and Information About Private Schools. Web. 04 Feb. 2011. .
This article gives both opinions on the cell phone debate regarding their uses in the classroom. Views it from a parents’ stand point about wanting to be able to access their child as well as from the teachers’ side of issues such as students using these devices to cheat.

By: Rachel Q


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