Cell phones

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by AF Mom, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

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    Jun 6, 2014

    They can play on them and text if they finish their work? What ever happened to reading a leisure book when you are done with your work? They are in school finishing academic work, not at home finishing chores. A free choice activity ought to involve learning.
     
  2. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    Jun 6, 2014

    i hate cell phones in school
     
  3. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Jun 8, 2014

    I don't want them out when I'm teaching. And they become mine for the rest of the day when they are. But they can use them when I'm finished.

    I know that some of them are texting and playing and not working. But that's a choice they make. If they would rather play and do their work at home so be it. I don't understand.
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 9, 2014

    I agree with this completely. Smart phones are a part of our world and culture. That's not going away! I think we need to be actively finding ways to use phones productively in our classrooms and teach the students appropriate cell phone etiquette in the "work place". In my room that means that the phones are put aside when I'm directly teaching, and that work is still being completed during class time. If they stop for 10 seconds to answer a text while they are working independently, I don't care. Business people do that all the time! Lol! If someone calls, and the student feels it's a "must answer", I tell them to take it in the hall and let the person know they'll call them back later. Are there kids that try to abuse this? Of course! They're teens, and some will push any boundary I set, but that's my job to help them correct.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jun 9, 2014

    Thank you!! I feel like it's something that we are trying so hard to oppress, but should be embracing cell phones and TEACHING kids how to use them-respectfully and in a time that is socially acceptable!

    As many of you know, I work in a college setting now, and spend much of my time advising students. I can tell you, students make appointments and come in to talk about taking college classes, and the SECOND I am not directly engaging them in conversation, and sometimes even WHILE I am looking at them directly in the eye, they are on their phones. Constantly. I have gotten to the point where I just stop and ask them to finish their texting conversation, then we will continue. My own social etiquette tells me not to do that, but I'm getting to the point where I don't care. It's rude. I am glad when their parent is sitting right there. I think they need to hear it.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 9, 2014

    I have not worked in a high school or middle school in years but I probably wouldn't have a problem with student using them in between classes, at lunch or during non-instructional time. Answering a text while the teacher is leading a class discussion is pretty disrespectful. "Johnny, can you tell us the answer to question #8 from your homework?" "Hold that thought Mrs. Smith, I have to answer a text". Umm...no. Sorry, just my opinion. If we are have a staff meeting and someone's phone goes off, teachers do not text or answer the phone (i'm sure if it's an emergency they would step out of the room) but it is just respectful to give your attention to the speaker in the room. I guess in some other workplaces it's acceptable to ignore your boss and play on your phone?
    I don't think they should be banned from school because they do have their place but should not be used when students are supposed to be engaged in lessons or activities in the classroom.
     
  7. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 9, 2014

    I don't think it's acceptable anywhere to ignore your boss (or friend or whomever is speaking to you) and play in your phone. That's why we said we have to teach them phone etiquette.
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 9, 2014

    Maybe that's something that should be taught at home before parents buy their kids a phone. I don't think teachers should have to waste time doing it unless it's just to go over a brief outline in the school policy handbook at the beginning of the year.
     
  9. blel0906

    blel0906 Rookie

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    Nov 2, 2014

    I allow my students to use their phones for certain things but am very clear on what is and what isn't acceptable.

    They can listen to music on their phones when they are working independently and I want to keep the room quiet (Its the only thing I have found to keep them quiet for more than 2 minutes). I also have a few kids that read online and use their phones as a reader. I do make it clear that if I catch them texting, playing video games on Facebook etc I will take the phones. I also make sure to continuously walk around the room when I allow this so they know I am checking.

    I do have a few students in my last period class that ask to use the phones to call home usually they are checking on transportation for an after school activity etc.

    I will over look it once if a phone goes off in class (I've forgotten to turn my ringer off before).

    Usually the kids are pretty good about it, A few tried to push it in the beginning and would pull their headphones out as soon as they walked in class I just told them it was a privilege and if they were going to take advantage I wouldn't allow them at all. The few times I have taken a phone away I usually give it back at the end of class as long as there hasn't been a behavior issue.
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Nov 2, 2014

    I have taught in BYOD district, and I loved it. It enriched the learning process, prepared students to think outside the box, to run with an idea or hunch, and support their arguments or positions. Ringers always off, of course, and all phones/devices had to be switched off and clearly visible at the front of the desk for tests and quizzes. We made good use of sharing data in experiments, incorporating photos in lab reports, and the students would take pictures of the screens or board to facilitate information gathering, moving the class along at a quicker pace. I think this last bit is important. The devices kept the tempo upbeat, the learning fast paced, and that greatly diminished unwanted behaviors. Games were never OK with me, but texting was minimal, and I was OK with music with headphones when independent work was being done as long as I couldn't hear the music. My explanation was that as a science teacher, I worried about damage to their hearing, so if I could hear what was playing, it was too loud. My hearing is excellent, so they soon knew that if I started to sing along they were busted. Now shift 180 degrees - phones are like contraband, it is a constant punishment atmosphere, lots of devious behavior, and the power struggle is very distracting and disruptive. I so miss BYOD - I wish my current district would embrace it. Count me as a believer that tech is here to stay. We can fight it or embrace it, and model tech etiquette, making better prepared and more skilled workers and students for the 21st century and beyond. Choose your battles wisely! :thumb:
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 3, 2014

    I'm with KC on this one. My perspective is also of a parent and former teacher.

    Here's how it breaks down for my kids:

    10th grader: No rules about physically having the phone, but they're not allowed to use them in class unless directed. They seem to have a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude. Every time I've gone to the school to pick him up early, the office has asked me to text him to let him know I was there instead of trying to page the classroom he was in.

    8th Grader: This child is in an alternative school so the rules are a little different. They have to turn in their phones to the dean at the beginning of the day and then get them back at the end of the day. The phones are kept in a locked cabinet during the school day.

    6th Grader: Technically, they're not supposed to have phones at all. Due to special circumstances, my child is allowed to keep his on silent in his backpack. He is not allowed to take it out except in case of emergency until after the final bell.

    I'm reasonably happy with the various rules. I like being able to send a quick text to one of the boys knowing they'll get it as soon as they look at their phone either at the end of the day (for the two youngest), or whenever he can (the oldest). My oldest knows that most of the time I don't need a reply, just relaying important information for after school. Due to the same special circumstances that caused the youngest's school to bend the rules a little, my oldest also has a tiny bit more freedom with his phone. He's allowed to keep it on the lowest volume setting and take a quick peek if the alert he has assigned to my phone number goes off. If it's something he has to respond to right away, he can. If not, he just ignores it until lunch/passing periods/after school.
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Nov 3, 2014

    My response mirrors that of mmswm and KC. My views come from the perspective of an adjunct college professor, former teacher, parent, grandfather and current administrator. For the record, I still personally teach two courses each year; this year it's AP Government for seniors and Freshman European History

    My school's policy is to enforce responsible phone use. Students are allowed to use phones during independent work time or when a teacher incorporates phones as part of a lesson. I don't our goal as teachers should be to ban phones or even texting from classrooms and schools all together; I think it should be to teach responsible phone use. I absolutely see the issue with a student who is constantly on his/her phone texting away, playing Candy Crush (or whatever else they play these days); in this instance the phone is a distraction. However, I see absolutely nothing wrong with a student using a phone to listen to music during independent work time (for some I notice it even helps them focus) or to look up a quick fact on Google. To be entirely honest, I also have real no problem with a student quickly reading or responding to a text, checking CNN, etc. provided that they do so during a downtime or a natural break in their workflow. I really think we need to be focusing on responsible and productive phone use, making sure to show stuents how their phones can be a tool and not a distraction. Banning phones all together and confiscating does none of this. Not to mention confiscating any student issues is really something no school wants to be doing from a legal perspective, it's a mess.
     
  13. Mystic

    Mystic Rookie

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    Dec 21, 2014

    Cell phones are only to be in lockers at my school. The only time students should have them is before they go to their lockers in the morning and at the end of the day when they leave. If a student has a cell phone on them during school hours it is confiscated and a parent has to come get it. A policy is only as strong as how consistent a school is with the policy. On trips and other special events the cell phone rule is loosened a little bit, but we don't want it to interrupt instruction. If we need technology we use whatever is available at the school.

    Unfortunately, when schools tell students "you can have it on you but not on," or "you can use it at lunch but not during class" it causes issues because students can break the rules more or make excuses.

    Our school is pretty good at relaying messages by parents to teacher or students. Honestly, allowing cell phone issues in school is a liability if inappropriate things are posted or video taped during school hours so I personally think it's best for schools to have a no cell phones on you during instruction hours policy.
     
  14. Switch

    Switch Rookie

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    May 17, 2015

    What's wrong with practicing restraint? Everything is life and death and an emergency this day. Kids and adults being stuck and attached to phones is really reinforcing the idea that just being in the moment is not good enough. We are either averse to boredom or learning what's on hand or longing to be distracted. I've seen people use phones in beautiful settings bc it's a terrible habit. It's a ripple effect one person uses it and everyone around immediately wants to. If you want to use iPad to type homework turn settings off like texting. If you want to go online it should be on school computers. A bigger lesson in self restraint needs to be taught.
     
  15. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    May 17, 2015

    No one needs to have a cell phone to use at all times - adults included. Unless you are the President of the United States, do you really need to be available 24 hours a day? That being said, I really think this is a societal issue more than a school issue. Adults are often rude or inconsiderate when it comes to cell phone use, so it follows that their children would behave similarly.
     

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