In this blog post, the main technological device discussed for the classroom, was cell phones. The idea of student’s using cell phones for educational purposes can be beneficial in many situations. Cell phones are easily assessable and handy to carry around. They are more convenient than computers or tablets and most students already own them. In addition, students are very familiar with this device and the functions it can perform. As a teacher, you need to ensure student’s are knowledgeable about the educational functions of a cell phone. Therefore, you need to use the “cell phone for good, rather than evil” as stated by Jared Heidinger. There are several positive outcomes to using cell phones in the classroom for educational purposes. These include the three reasons mentioned in the video about smartphone ideas for students - using smartphones to capture everything (labs, notes, etc.), storing everything in the cloud (unlimited access), and using faceTime to connect with other students and individuals around the world. In addition to these reasons, cell phones call be used in the classroom for polls, research tools, differentiations, checking email, organization, and so much more. Although there are several benefits for students using cell phones, teachers need to be aware that some students may own a cell phone, due to financial issues, religious issues, or other various reasons. Therefore, these students cannot be alienated and cell phones cannot be depended on.
Horizon Reports is an interesting idea that involves the collaboration between new media and social networking. It’s idea is to create an education system that has strategic insight for educators when planning, to keep up with key trends, include important developments, and present solutions to challenges that arise. Each student acquires a hand held device. Although, in theory horizon reports sounds like a great way to adapt our schools and change the culture behind education, there are some arising concerns. For one, how will every student afford to have their own mobile device? Will schools be able to finance for every student to use a cell phone? In addition, will students lose important social skills? Or worse, not develop these crucial social skills? As we know, many individuals spend the majority of their personal life on their cell phones and other technological devices, should we be encouraging this practice within their education as well? I believe that cell phones can contribute immensely to student’s educational experience, however, a balance is needed. The cell phone should not be the focus in the lesson plan, it should be incorporated to engage students with the material. Therefore, I think, as teachers, we need to make sure that students are still developing and continually increasing their own social skills.
In conclusion, I think that cell phone use would be a great addition to my classroom. As a teacher, I will continue to stay on top of technology and learn about new devices and apps. I will be open to new ideas in technology, but I will not feel that I need to incorporate everything into my own classroom. However, I will look at the positive and negatives of each device and make an educated decision on whether or not to use it in my classroom. Furthermore, I think that cell phones will strengthen learning if used effectively. Students need to understand that cell phones can be used for educational purposes in the classroom. Therefore, they need to resist the temptations to use the device for personal reasons while in a lesson. As a teacher, I would have students place their cell phones on top of their desks where I can see them at all times. When they are given permission to use their cell phones, or if used for educational reasons, the students will then be allowed to use their phones. However, students need to understand the boundaries and be aware of the consequences if they continuously use their phones for personal reasons. Here is a site that discusses the benefits to including cell phones within the classroom. In addition, I provided a site that discusses opinions against using cell phones in class. Notice at the bottom of the page, there is the other side of the story, which includes a link to a set of pros about using cell phones in a classroom. From the readings and your own opinions and beliefs, do you think cell phones contribute or inhibit student learning?