16 Sep 2011
Fair Cell Phone Use in School
This piece is directed toward students; maybe educators can take some of the
items discussed here and take them into consideration for their schools.
Cell phones are a wonderful convenience and fun gadgets to have. However,
there is still debate about whether or not they belong in schools. Consensus needs to be
reached between parents, students, and educators regarding the fair use in schools.
Certainly to ban them completely is to ignore some of the educational advantages of
having a cell phone in the classroom. Also, there needs to be sensible communication
concerning the misuses of cell phones; some uses are definitely unacceptable.
Educators, parents and students should think of some of these possibilities when
addressing the cell phone issue:
Students can take pictures of class projects to e-mail or show to parents.
Ordinarily, parents do not see projects that are completed in groups in
Students can text message missed assignments to classmates that are
absent. A buddy system can be put into place.
Many cell phones are equipped with calculators—plenty of new math
curricula encourage the use of a calculator when problem-solving. A student
should become accustomed to having a calculator handy for both homework
and real life math applications.
If a student is slow to copy notes from the board, pictures can be taken of
the missed notes and accessed later. Ditto sending notes to absent
Students can listen to music with ear buds if the cell phone is equipped with
this option during independent study—many students find this relaxing and
comfortable and are more productive as a result.
Unacceptable use of cell phones—never use them for these purposes in school:
Sending test answers to friends—that is cheating and is certainly wrong!
Recording teachers—no one is perfect and teachers are reputed to be above
any misdeed. However, if a teacher is not conducting him/herself properly,
report him or her to the principal and one’s parents. It is up to the
administrator to complete an investigation. Students who misbehave should
be afforded the same basic rights. No one wants to be recorded without
knowledge or consent.
And then, there are these very serious offenses that are not only wrong, but
illegal and one should never use one’s cell phone for this these purposes:
Arranging a drug deal.
Plotting a bomb threat.
Setting up others to fight.
If students act in a mature manner and present a fair cell phone use agreement
to their parents, teachers, and administrators, maybe this cell phone controversy can be
settled for the benefit of all.
Hercules Editing and Consulting
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