Cellphones are a big part of our lives and have without a doubt become increasingly common among children. One of the most debated questions is whether cellphones should be allowed in the classroom. While valid reasons as to why cellphones do not belong in the classroom immediately come to mind (for example the disruption they can be), cellphones can actually fulfill a variety of useful functions…
The cellphone as a participation tool
With the number of free apps available now, cellphones can be a great participation tool in the classroom, for example: The website polleverywhere.com allows teachers to create poll questions. Students respond by texting their response to a number, and then the classroom reviews the results. This helps the teacher determine how students understand the topic and they can adjust accordingly.
Another way students can participate using cellphones is being allowed to text questions to the teacher throughout the lesson. This would help students who are embarrassed to ask questions and also ensure good questions aren’t missed or forgotten.
Cellphones as an organizational tool
Cell phones can help students stay organized. As a university student I use the “My Homework App” to help me stay on top of assignments, tasks and deadlines. Students will receive notifications as to when deadlines are coming up and can input when there are new assignments and projects in the application as they come up.
The upside to having a planer on your phone is that you always have your phone on you and that you’re always on your phone, whereas there have been countless times where people forget their planners as home.
Cellphones as a resource tool
Cell phones are a great resource in the classroom. There are many different helpful research applications like the thesaurus and the dictionary. Cellphones also serve as a quick tool if you Google an uncertain fact on your smartphone.
Additionally, being able to look up news articles online via cell phone is a good way for students to be able to consult and contribute to a meaningful classroom discussion.
Wherever you stand on the cell phone in the classroom debate, there is no denying that each year cellphones are becoming more and more integrated in our lives. Perhaps it is time for us to welcome the integration and learn how to use it more effectively for class participation, organization and resourcefulness.