Twenty years ago cell phones were expensive and underpowered. Pretty much the only thing you could do with them was to dial a number to speak with someone. Cell phones .have morphed into a high-powered device called a smartphone. It can make calls, text messages, take photos with one of two cameras, play music, and much, much more. As a result, cell phones, or rather, smartphones, can be both a useful tool and a distraction in school. Cell Phones In The Classroom: Learning Tool or Distraction outlines the issue facing teachers and administrators alike. The big advantage of allowing cell phones in the classroom is that the school doesn't have to build any local infrastructure. In other words, you don't have to wire buildings and set up servers to support students' and administrators' cell phones. The cell phone service provider takes care of all of that. Teachers can routinely deliver information and content via students' smartphones easily and conveniently.
Endless possibilities for good
Smartphones allow instant communication between teacher and student, between administrators and teachers, and, in times of crisis, between parents and the school. You don't have to wait hours or days to receive feedback, comments, suggestions, or even the correct answer to a question.
Endless possibilities for distraction
Smartphones can be a distraction. That is the main reason why many teachers do not like them in the classroom. As far as they are concerned, smartphones create more disciplinary problems than they are worth. Unfortunately, smartphones are ubiquitous. Even your third and fourth graders will have smartphones. Using a smartphone to learn and widen one's horizons is one way to reduce the distraction capability of a smartphone. In other words, teach your students the disciplined approach to using their smartphones. Teaching has always required tons of patience. It has also required teachers to reach students at whatever level they happen to be on. Obviously chatting with your friends on WhatsApp or SnapChat or Kik is going to be a major distraction in the classroom, that is, if you allow it to be.
This video discusses the "no cell phones in school" rule.
Best apps for teachers
Technology has developed so rapidly over the last ten years or so. Back then who would have thought that there would be app stores with thousands of apps for teachers? Here is a sample of the kind of apps available for teachers. And dozens more are added every day. George Nekilan describes some of these apps in Best Apps for Teachers in 2018 to Download. JAna Rooheart explores apps with the special needs teacher in mind in 7 Apps for Working with Special Needs Students.Do you want to encourage your students to study for their SAT and AP exams? There are apps for that. Best apps to help begin your AP, ACT, & SAT studying is a compilation from Grosse Pointe South High School. Use it as a guide for building your own catalog of useful apps for your teaching and for your students.
Harness the power and capabilities of smartphones to enhance your classroom activities.
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