Cell Phone/electronic use

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MathGuy82, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Jan 31, 2017

    How well does your cell policy work if you one? We adopted one this year and it seems not to work very well as we are not suppose to have phones in the class. Most days it works "okay at best" as they keep phones away but I see some students slip phones out. Is a no phone policy school-wide a good idea? Especially when all teachers don't enforce it? I can sometimes see why because it's honestly a pain to enforce at times when you are just trying to each. I can see how it can be good to enforce a no phone rule but our world is so much about using phones. It seems like a hard thing to enforce as I am always policing phone use. Taking phones away, writing kids up, sneaking them out quickly while I'm lecturing and having to stop and confiscate the phone. (I quit doing that because I don't want to be responsible if something happens to the phone (student makes something up and says it's broken or someone takes it).
    Another note is now I see watches that can look up a lot of stuff online now too. Another wonderful additional device we are probably going to have to watch/police since these are increasing after the Holidays. No just phones, I-phone like watches now that can look up test questions online.

    Any thoughts on this emerging matter across our schools today?
     
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  3. creativemonster

    creativemonster Cohort

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    Feb 2, 2017

    At my school we are supposed to take them from students. (sarcastic maniacal laughter) The same teachers who tell us how important it is to do this are the exact ones who are texting during staff meets. I get it, stuff comes up. I also get that we need to explicitly teach students HOW to use (or better not use) their phone during class. Taking them doesn't help. I have started telling them that look, I get it. But I also get that you need the info from this class. (I teach 10-12 graders, so maybe not right for younger) If I gently remind them they DO get better, much better! The ones that don't I do end up writing up and or calling home. But it really has become rare this semester...so far. We have a teacher that looks the other way when their work is done, but I don't care for that, as it distracts others and they rush through and don't pay attention during discussion times. I say look, class is for this amount of time - you may use your phones at lunch. If you have an emergency and must take/place text or call,check with me and I will write you a pass to office. I tell them they may write letters to their friends when they are done with their work. (snail mail!) I have tried to incorporate phones into work as much as possible, but because not everyone has one, it is difficult. Plus some pay for data. Plus my principal would have a fit. (I think its NONE is a district policy) I really wish they would just let us use them with students - I think it will be tough for them when they get to college and they haven't learned how to use or not use them in a class.
     
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  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 2, 2017

    I wish my school had a cell phone policy. Since they don't if I enforce a cell phone policy in my classroom, I essentially get a riot, and there is no school wide policy that I can point to.

    A cell phone policy only works if teachers enforce it. You can't just have a cell phone policy and expect students to stop using their cell phones. You have to take them when you see them out. I give them a warning, and take it if I see it out again. Or I just give one class-wide warning and take any I see out after that. If a student doesn't immediately give me the phone, I give them the choice of getting their phone at the end of the period, or the end of the day. If they still won't give it to me, I say fine, go to the office, and take your phone with you. They'll get it from you.

    I think it is better for a school to have a school wide cell phone policy that certain teachers can decide to ignore, than for a school to not have a school wide policy and expect teachers to enforce their own cell-phone rules with no back-up.

    I have students use cell phones in class for certain activities, but during all other times they need to be put away unless I explicitly give them permission.

    At my old school, cell phones were not to be out PERIOD. If an admin walked in, and kids were on their cell phones, and the teacher wasn't doing anything about it, the teacher would get a talking to. It sounds restrictive, but the main reason was that if the phone gets stolen or damaged while out, then the school could be held liable. In that environment, students were WAAAY more productive than they are at this school.
     
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  5. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Feb 2, 2017

    Well I teach preschool, but I do have a 4-year-old in my class with his own cell phone. And I don't mean a parents old phone that he uses for games, he got a brand new iPhone with his own number for his 4th birthday.
    His parents and I agreed that phone stays at home and/or OFF inside his backpack during school.
    This is obviously easier to enforce that an entire school of kids with phones, but it is crazy how young some kids are that have their own smartphones.. especially one from a low income family that qualifies for free preschool..
     
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  6. MathGuy82

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    Feb 2, 2017

    I agree! It's just not working by taking them! And yes, the biggest hypocritics text in staff meetings. I like your thoughts. If they need to make a call I let them go to the office or bathroom away from everybody to use their phone. This is what I do too!
     
  7. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Feb 2, 2017

    This is on track with what I'm thinking too! ALL teachers must enforce it. What I always find out in the last year, whenever I try to enforce it, is that I find several other teachers backing off when I've put in effort to enforce the rule. Well "so and so" lets me use phones. I walk around and on my planning periods and find that other teachers allow them. I think the best rule for schools is to have them put away unless the student specifically asks. And it must not be everyday or every other day unless it's something used for school. Or have a rule so strict that a hall monitor or someone else can come and take them to the office when students use them out of hand. It just seems like all these new policies are put on "teachers" and it adds so much strain. We already have enough monitoring to do, this just adds more and more. I think something needs to be thought of better. In other countries that have "off buttons" so certain areas block online activity and you can only make calls and not surf on the web or play games on the phone. I think that would be better, so if there were to be an emergency, students could call authorities or home if needed. And this way there could be no online activity or texting.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 3, 2017

    With the "Well "so and so" lets me use phones." comments, a good reply is "That's great for so-and-so, but in my classroom they are put away or they become mine."

    If there is a policy in place, and only half of the teachers follow it, students will not offer as much resistance if there is no policy in place and you're the only teacher that enforces it.

    Eventually, if you are consistent, students get used to your rules and expectations, and keep their phones put away. I rarely have to take phones now because they've grown accustomed to the fact that in my classroom they can't have it out, even if they can have it out in other classrooms or at lunch. It just becomes part of our daily procedure to keep them in their pockets or backpacks.
     
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  9. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Feb 3, 2017

    This is good Peregrin! I just have to get a little bolder and do this in the classroom.
     

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