Awesome. She's absolutely right. I can think of several ways off the top of my head to use this technology.
Here are the weaknesses in this plan:
- Not every kid has a cell phone.
- Not every kid who has a cell phone has the same technological capabilities.
- Cell phones can be distracting as status symbols.
Our school has uniforms so that clothing is less of a distraction. If someone can't afford the uniform, or school supplies, the school helps them to obtain what they can't purchase. If we applied the same policy to cell phones, we'd be using a HUGE part of our limited budget on droppable, breakable, out-date-able technology. Of course, if someone donated a whole bunch of cell phones, minutes, and texts, I'd gladly take them!
I've spent hours just teaching my kids to use basic office software. Would I have to spend the same amount of time teaching them to text and post to the web from their phones? Maybe, maybe not.
Some of my kids come from less-healthy home situations. If I gave them a donated cell phone, would it be "borrowed" by parents who can't afford phones...or, even worse, by older family members in gangs? How could I avoid making this a problem?
How do I address safety and cyberbullying? Am I more liable if I provide the phone?
Has anyone out there successfully used cell phones in the classroom? What do you do?