Cell phone policy?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Devotee

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    Jul 24, 2017

    In this case and many other facets of teaching / classroom mgmt / policy / etc..., I can clearly see that there is no ONE perfect solution. Amazing how all sorts of experts, and I'm not talking about anyone on this message board, can claim to have the answers... But every teacher has to find what works for him / herself! I think when my colleagues start filtering back into their classrooms, I will survey a number of them to see how they handle it. I do not want to be the oddball in the faculty but I don't want to have the same problems I had last year. If I am to have the beginning of successful high school teaching, I'll have to stomp my foot somewhere and it will start with a sensible cell phone policy that I can manage and within guidelines.
     
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  2. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    There's a huge difference between asking for them on a test day and just blanket saying on day one "I don't know you but give me your cellphone just in case."
     
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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  4. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Devotee

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    Jul 26, 2017

    I've been convinced of not collecting everyone's cell phones at the beginning of class and returning at the end. I see too many negatives especially the time needed to do this and being responsible for electronics that aren't my own. So, part of the "meaning business" aspect of my cell phone policy will end up with my taking a cell phone away when used inappropriately. I would guess that a cell phone will be used inappropriately very quickly and I will just stand there hoping it gets handed to me. I'll have to train myself not to respond to defiance with silly talk or nagging.
     
  5. WordLover

    WordLover Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2017

    I recently came off a long - term sub job. The teacher I replaced had a hanging shoe organizer on the wall near the door. Students were to place their phones there (not mandatory) and if non-placers were caught with their phones out, they were written up and referred to the vice-principal. I still had problems with some students and their phones so I've decided that - for my next job - I will have the shoe organizer near the front of the room (so all can see) and I'll number the pockets. All will have to put their phones in them as they enter.
     
  6. novaguy1968

    novaguy1968 MS English Educator

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    Jul 27, 2017

    Yes, they did this at the school where I taught last year as well. From what I understand, it seemed to have worked well.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Be sure to confirm, and comply with, school policy, particularly if you are planning to keep phones after the end of the school day. If kids go home without their phones, there will be some angry phone calls from parents and you want to be sure that admin will back up your decisions.
     
  8. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    Aug 8, 2017

    Out of curiosity, has anyone here done the opposite of the norm and intentionally incorporated phones into the classroom? I'm not necessarily an advocate. Just curious about the concept.
     
  9. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    Aug 8, 2017

    To CherryOak,
    Yes, I typically do encourage phones. Our school really encourages them to bring in their own devices, since we barely have any computers. Students are told they are allowed to read on their devices as a rule. A lot of teachers use Kahoot in class to play review games.. In the past I've used some educational platforms like Moodle, Edmodo, Class Dojo where kids could access class information. I found that most kids did not have extra space on their cells for apps and could never remember their log-in information. Also, our school's wi-fi is pretty bad, so they didn't want to eat up their data. I don't blame them.

    I do let students use the phones for vocabulary and even to google things. (I should mention that we don't have textbooks that they can use as a reference anymore.) I have a few extra devices for kids who don't have a phone or tablet or they share. The issue is that it is impossible to police the texting and Snapchat/Instagram usage. I've even set up accounts to send out assignments and pictures/videos of class trips/projects on social media. I found that more effective than Remind because some students couldn't log in. Basically, 95% of the students are fine. I find that their parents are the ones that text them a lot about after school activities. They will often ask, "My mom just texted me, can I text her back?" Sometimes this type of thing causes an issue because we had a kid that when he would get in trouble would text his mom his side of the story and she would call before the principal even talked to him! However, this was one out of a hundred.

    What gets me is when kids are being districted by the cell phones, I say to put the phone down, and they are still texting. I take the phone per school policy and they just give it back to the kid. Due to this type of thing most teachers are my school just keep the phone for the class period and give it back.
     
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  10. novaguy1968

    novaguy1968 MS English Educator

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    Aug 8, 2017

    I don't think it's harsh at all. Maybe you can give it back in June ;)
     
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  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 9, 2017

    I worked at a school where the cell phone was considered usable tech just like a computer. No ear phones, no calls, no social media, no on phone when the teacher is lecturing, no games allowed. If you incorporate the phones as tools, and you keep changing up what needs to be done with them, which is verified by results on the page, it's not bad. No question that teacher needs to watch, watch, and watch some more to prevent the no-no's from happening. Break the rules, student and phone to admin.
     
  12. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2017

    During college, I admittedly texted through most of my classes and still came out with As. As such, I really don't feel the need to baby the kids.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 10, 2017

    You would be surprised how much difference there is between early HS and college in maturity and school rules. If you are distracted in college and flunk out because of the excessive texting, that is all on you. HS rules are designed to limit non-stop texting to prevent student failure - parents react poorly to students flunking out because their kids are distracted by the cell phone use, and they wonder how the teachers could not be in the know and control of the situation. Consider it a failure of classroom management, because I can guarantee that is the complaint that the parents will take to the district superintendent. Parents want their student to be treated as an adult until the outcome is negative, and them they will talk about them as "children." Been there, experienced that. :2cents:
     
  14. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Comrade

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    I teach jrs and srs, not early HS. In any case, my course is not required for graduation, and no one has ever failed it for the year (though I've had kids fail for a marking period). My students, for the most part, do care about their grades and performance. I think there are bigger fish to fry than sending an occasional text message. As long as they are discreet about it, and don't try to spend the whole period goofing off with it, it's no big deal.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 11, 2017

    Whereas I am stuck enforcing school rules and policies. I now work at a school where cell phones are NOT allowed. They are contraband, and if we see the phones, we are obligated to write it up, and immediately tell a supervisor as well as the safeties. Big difference between public school and a private school, but an even bigger difference between the two populations. Some student populations can't be trusted with internet access. I wish they could, but they can't, so I follow the rules You really have no idea of the havoc they can create, along with dangerous/unsafe situations. Laissez–faire does not work in all situations.
     
  16. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Devotee

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    Aug 11, 2017

    Last year, I had a HUGE problem dealing with cell phones and hesitation when dealing with an infraction. This year, I have a "jail" hanging on the back wall. Students know they are not to have phones out for any reason once class starts. I caught one texting and it went to "jail." He got it back end of day. Another one just had it on his desk but wasn't using. I told him to jail it and he could get it after class. So far, my policy is working. But, I know I'm in the honeymoon period. We'll see how they behave in the coming weeks.
     
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  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 11, 2017

    I just found out that our new school wide cell phone policy is that students cannot use their phones what so ever. If they take it out, one warning, if they do it again, they're sent up to the office, phone gets taken and parent called. If we are letting them use their phones, it's only in the last 10 minutes of class time.

    I didn't get to ask questions because I missed the first 3 days of work (no kids yet) because I h ad to fly back to Hungary for my dad's funeral :( I just got back, but the secretary kept me informed.

    I like this policy, it's straight forward and I hope it will work. I used to let them use their phone during silent reading or writing essays, but it's ok, they can be without. I can play music for them.
     
  18. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    Aug 11, 2017

    My condolences, Linguist. I'm sorry to hear that your dad passed.
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 11, 2017

    So sorry, Linguist.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    So sorry to hear your father has died, Linguist. There's no good age at which to lose a dad.
     

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