Back to School: Mobile Phones in the Classroom to Help Learning?

by Istvan Fekete on September 3, 2015

Alongside greeting their classmates, schoolchildren will also be showing off something that teachers still struggle to deal with: a mobile device. It doesn’t matter if it is a smartphone, a tablet, or even a laptop, we’ve seen the adoption rate spikes among younger and younger schoolchildren. And they take them to class, so teachers have a new “issue” to deal with alongside teaching.

At first, schools tried to fight the trend. As an example, the Toronto District School Board banned cellphone use in class between 2007 and 2011. But this isn’t specific to Canada: New York City had cellphones banned from schools for years.

But there is a major issue: It’s impossible to police the possession of such devices, and, as a result, it was decided to incorporate them into the curriculum. While this sounds like a great idea – smartphones, tablets, and laptops are excellent tools for productivity if used properly – another problem arises: Can teachers deal with it?

As a parent myself, I can see why the parents of those schoolchildren give them a cellphone: I want and need to know where my child is. That’s the main idea. However, as we know, these devices can be the cause of lack of focus in class, because they can easily become a distraction: think Facebook or online chatting.

Fortunately, technophile educators acknowledge the risk, and nearly all say that this can be handled through good classroom management, clear expectations, and rules for their students. But besides that, an important component is the lesson designed to be engaging by incorporating mobile devices.

But that’s the future we are currently contributing to.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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