Okay, this blog posting is more about my other life (high school teacher) than my Master’s life (reading, reading, and MORE reading!), but the recent furor over cell phones in the classroom has me thinking.  I fought the fight against cell phones for years, but I think we are at the point now where our students have practically grown up with them.  You can try to enforce a cell phone ban in the classroom, but someone is always texting under the desk.  And if they are not texting, I’m pretty sure they are thinking about their next text, which means they are not thinking about globalization, nationalism, or whatever I’m trying to teach.

So I’ve devised a new plan.  Students, get that cell phone out and put it on your desk!  Use it as a clock, a calculator, and soon, a research device (once our wireless network finally gets going).  Last week, I had them set a reminder for Sunday night that we had Social Studies homework.  And the week before, I used polleverywhere.com to poll them on a question about their upcoming projects.  I could also use joopz.com to text the students reminders about upcoming tests, or bringing their textbooks to class.

But I am going to need parental permission, and based on the uproar over cell phones in the classroom, I’m a little nervous about the response I might get.  An unofficial poll on cbc.ca (based on voting buttons) showed 89% of people did not want to have cell phones in the classroom.  To be fair, the article didn’t list any of the perceived benefits of cell phone use in the classroom.  Nor have most other articles I’ve read.

So I guess I’ll draft the letter to send home, and hope for the best.  Any suggestions are welcome!

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