cell phone jammer- oh dear, in trouble?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Ron6103, May 15, 2010.

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  1. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    May 16, 2010

    Jammers do not prevent cell phones from working, only getting reception. So, kids could still take pictures of tests if they wanted: The jammer would not help you solve this problem.

    Because of some of the posts in this thread, I think I should note I would not be upset if I were in the next room and found out you were jamming signals. I would hope to help you find alternative ways of approaching the situation, but anger would not help. You are not violating any rights of students or teachers by jamming signals, though you are breaking a law. The anger that you face when using this technological device is ironic: Your dependence on a tech. device to solve a problem, that could be solved in a low tech. way, angers others by forcing them to address a myriad of issues by taking away a tech. device on which they have become dependent.

    Cannot remember who suggested it, but an apology is definitely in order. Since I am pretty sure you are in uncharted territory here, you need to do everything you can to soften the offense in the eyes of others. Read through the posts and build an address with which to offer when you return on Monday. Hopefully, you can sway everyone to think this was an honest mistake from which you have learned.
     
  2. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I think a huge deal has been made out of an innocent mistake. He didn't mean to impact any other teacher. He even asked his neighboring teacher.

    I think the huge deal should be made out of teachers who didn't come to him and say something before hightailing it to the principal's office to complain.

    It sounds like everything will be fine. Apologize to the self-righteous teachers, tell them they should have let you know, tell them you had no idea it was illegal, and let's put our heads together to think of some other way to keep kid's attention.

    I have two kids in my classroom who have cell phones for afterschool use. They keep it in their bookbags, set on a loud ringtone. If it rings, there is an emergency. The bookbags are kept in corners of the room or behind the couch. All of this is done aboveboard, with teacher and parent approval. Perhaps next year the school can come up with a way to meet the kids halfway.
     
  3. newbie1234

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    :thumb: You acted out of good faith, you made a mistake, and hopefully the teachers you offended won't push this any farther. I also agree with the poster who said you should apologize. It's a shame that your coworkers are willing to spend their time going after you. I'm sure there are a billion other issues that need attention.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Really?:dizzy:
    Wow...sorry, but I live 12 miles from NYC. There was recently a car bomb in Times Square and don't even get me started about the usefulness/lifesaving/emotionally wrenching issues connected to cell phones and 9-11.
    Funny how there are opinions about how some feel students' phones should be jammed yet would raise hell if it applied to teacher phones...
    To the OP, I say grow eyes in the back of your head, confiscate phones if that is school policy, develop some real classroom management so you don't miss the kids who take out their phones and text photos of the test to others.
     
  5. hac711

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    I think they are great! And why are some of you calling parents from your cell phones?
    I would love it if the school had cell phone jammers put in. The higher grades cheat using cell phones...
     
  6. ecl

    ecl Rookie

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    Ouch. Teenagers are masters of deception, and texting can and will take place under the best classroom management.
     
  7. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Okay, can we back up a minute? I won't claim to be an expert in classroom management, but I don't like the implication that because I can't catch all phone users, I don't have real classroom management abilities. Believe me, I confiscate what I catch, but with 30 kids in a room, as soon as a kid asks me a question to comes to my desk for something, I very well may miss something across the room. As could anyone frankly.

    As for the NYC city example, it's a double edged sword. One of the easiest detonators to use in an explosive is a cell phone trigger. That's why the military and secret service have, and use, jammers for protection of high value targets. But all of that is way off base anyway I suppose...

    I'll send out the apology email first thing tomorrow morning, and go from there. I'll let ya'll know what happened. Thanks for the input so far, I really do appreciate it.
     
  8. Historyteaching

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    Our school had thought about them, then we discovered they are illegal.

    Yes it was a mistake, and for something like that I would have asked administration about them in a sort of "I found this neat device-can I use it in my class" type of thing. Especially for a tech thing such as a signal jammer.

    We allow students to use their phones during bus times before/after, at lunch and in between classes. It has cut down on some of the cell phone usage DURING class-but not gotten rid of it completely. I've gotten pretty good at knowing when someone is using theirs. At times-its not that hard to see them trying to hide it.
    We are on the border of two states-Our classroom phones will only call the state we are in, if I need to call to the other state (the one I live in) I either must use my cell phone OR ask the office to dial out and let it ring to my room. I don't use my cell during class time, but will during lunch or planning period, thus I'd not be too happy someone was jamming the signal.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm with you everywhere but here. For a student to take a picture of a test, it means the cell phone was OUT of a pocket, in view of the test. If answering questions across the room means your proctoring is comprimised, then no more questiions get answered during tests. But a student should not be able to have a cell phone OUT and have the teacher not notice.

    And, as a side note, this is yet another great argument for NOT using the same version of the test all day long.

    I agree that it's pretty difficult to catch all of the texting. Our kids wear blazers, and they can text without looking. But they can't READ those texts in my class, since I would see the phone out.
     
  10. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I actually wish that we could have something like this in my school. I do not even bring my cell phone into school. Teachers constantly use their cell phones in school and still have the nerve to write up students for texting. We have teachers that receive a text during class and take out their phones and answer it. This drives me crazy.
     
  11. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Actually we caught a student this year with the cell phone in the sleeve of the sweatshirt that had a tiny hole taking pics of a test. I really was lucky to have caught her but I walk up and down quite a bit during the test. Apparently she had been doing this for a while.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    But you caught her. It wasn't all about luck.

    And, again, if next period has a different version of the test, it wouldn't help much.

    But she wore the same sweatshirt every time she had a test, and no one was suspicious? I test every 2 weeks, and I'm only one of 6 academic periods. That's an AWFUL lot of the same shirt.
     
  13. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    In a big school building there are plenty of areas where there is no cell phone service to begin with...Im sure many of you experience this, Hypothetically- if a jammer was put in my room in the HS and nothing was said Im sure after a couple of days the students would just assume that its the cell towers just as they cant use phones in the auditorium, library or math hallways because there is barely one bar of service depending on how the wind is blowing that day.

    I was just discussing this with my mother who also teaches High School and she thought it was the best invention yet, she wished they could be put into cars bc of the number of young drivers texting! (I think they should work on something where if the car is moving cell's dont work-I bet the phone company can come up with something-too many people are getting into fatal accidents!)

    She couldnt think of one reason why they should be illegal until I brought up the point that criminals could use them when they are about to rob you so you cant call 911 for help..that is a good reason for them to be illegal.
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Disrupting communications is actually a Really Big Deal. Signal jammers disrupt more than just cell phones. They can also cause disruptions in radio communications and television/satalite waves. Imagine what sort of catastorphes might ensue if police and fire departments couldn't communicate with each other, or radio and tv transmissions were disrupted. They're illegal for a very good reason.
     
  15. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Not to mention theft of property!

    (sore subject with me today, since I have been in a love/hate with Verizon all day)

    I could not ever, for whatever reason, condone the thought of signal jammers being legal. NO way. Especially in public places. That is simply theft of property. I pay my cell phone bill every month so that I have cell phone coverage. Not so some vigilante can randomly jam my signal. Sorry. That's not ok with me. I'm trying to think of something to compare it to...stealing cable? Can people still do that?

    (BTW, I am addressing the current conversation about random jammers in different places, not Ron's situation)

    Possible stupid question...are medical devices affected by these things? Pacemakers and the like?

    To put a jammer in a car...seriously? And if that teen ended up in the bottom of a ravine needing to call 911? Or was carjacked? Or just plain lost? Not to mention jamming other cars' signals...we're veering dangerously into Big Brother situations here. Right or wrong, we have choices, and when any entity starts making that decision for us, um...I have a HUGE problem with that.

    Now, I agree that this discussion has expanded generously from the original question. Ron, you shouldn't have done what you did. I think we all established that. You are going to apologize, and not do it again. Swish, swish, problem solved.

    I just can't believe that people are ok with these devices!

    (I have more to say on this subject, but I gotta go re-tuck in a wandering 4-year old.)
     
  16. MissJill

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    I remember they used cell jammers when I was in college. Didn't seem illegal then.

    I think he understands he made a mistake, there is no reason to keep telling him about the jammers being illegal.
     
  17. JustMe

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    I think it's entirely possible for a student to have their cell phone completely out and even a very alert teacher not notice....far too many possible distractions and far too many sneaky tactics. I could supply so many examples, but...for example: I have a special education student who has a place on his head that he bothers and when it bleeds, it bleeds. When he comes to me with blood all over his head and hand, I'm not magic...while I quickly tend to him and get him nurse pass, someone could whip out the ol' cell phone. Again, this time and about a thousand other times throughout the day. Oh, and when I'm dealing with the countless calls from the office each day. I work with real people; I'm a real person. Stuff happens.
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I think the conversation has spun out from the original discussion. I don't think anybody is intending to slam the OP. We all realize (or I hope we all realize) that he knows he made a mistake, intends to apologize, and the situation should be over. I hope that the administration and other teachers in his school feel the same way. The legality of the devices is a seperate discussion.
     
  19. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    OK, so I have more to say...

    I was the one who suggested the box next to the door. OK, so that doesn't work for some. Could each student have a cubby-type box? And send home a note telling parents what will happen in your classroom? With a, hmm what to call it, denial of responsibility? I mean, it's not like these phones are out of sight of students during class. Put them right in front of them, just out of their hands. Of course you will still have students with holes in their sweatshirts or whatever. But I just have to have more faith in kids than just assuming that they are all going to do the WRONG thing. There's a lot to be said for trusting kids.

    What else will work? Why not have kids put their phones right out on their own desks? In plain sight, of both you and them. It's kinda hard to use a phone when it's supposed to be sitting on a desk. Thoughts?

    Back to Ron-maybe you can turn this into a proactive situation for yourself. You said you are non-tenured, maybe you can put a feather in your cap by volunteering to head a cell phone policy committee to revisit the current policy. Invite teachers, parents, and students. Especially students. What are their suggestions? Again, put the ball in their court and let them know that you (and the school) is willing to work with students to come up with an agreeable compromise.

    If we don't always assume the worst about students, and they won't always show their worst! Give them opportunities to do the right thing-we might just be surprised.
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I totally agree Just me, that there will always be students who sneakily try to use phones. I'd like to believe that if a fellow classmate is bleeding from the head, texting won't be the first thing on their mind, but I'm also a realist, and I'm sure that will happen sometimes. But, I guess we have to decide if we're willing to accept a FEW instances in order to cut down on the MANY offenses.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Regarding asking students to put their phones in a box, a cubby, or on their desk...the issue with that is that some students will simply say they don't have a cell phone. Of course, it's certainly never going to be a perfect situation with 100% compliance, so any of these or other attempts to reduce cell phone usage should be applauded.
     
  22. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Nope, they don't in our school. It doesn't always work, and there are bumps in the road all the time, but it has certainly cut down on the instances.

    I should also add, that once our cell phone committee suggested the following policy, usage during class STOPPED drastically.

    Our policy:

    Students can carry their phones in their pockets, bags, etc. (previously were confiscated immediately upon sight)

    Students can use cell phones in between classes and at lunch. Also at the teacher's discretion (previously NEVER)

    Students who violate policy do have to turn in phones, but have a conference with the principal and jointly come up with an agreeable plan (previously the phone would only be turned over to parents, after a period of time-this did NOT go well AT ALL).

    (I think there are some other things in there, but I can't remember right now)

    Basically, we told the kids what we needed (uninterrupted class time), and they told us that they would give that IF they could have some leeway in return. A couple of teachers do the box thing, and it works wonderfully. One teacher has kids put their phones on the floor next to their desks. Other teachers just don't have to bother with them, it's a non-issue.

    Maybe we just have awesome kids :D! I still stand by my thought that if you trust kids, they will act appropriately in return.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, you must have awesome kids. :)
     
  24. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Well, I know I was being facetious to say that, but we do have good ones around here. They're no different than any other kids though. Some of them are so deliciously naughty!
     
  25. Muttling

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    We are going to a cell phones allowed between classes and in the hall policy. I think it will work well.


    As for the one who said you need to get better at seeing them pull them out, I ask who are you teaching????? I have kids who can text without taking the phone out of their pocket. They only look to read an incoming message.

    I also ask, WHAT are you teaching???? If I spend 10 seconds with my eyes on a problem that a student is struggling with, they have time to text a message right behind me. (Let alone the kid across the room.)

    I am notorious for collecting cell phones, but many still get past me. I want a jammer.....dang you FCC.
     
  26. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Actually, what they need is a cell phone that won't send a text unless all of the grammar and spelling is correct.
     
  27. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    That would be uber cool.



    Just add a basic, 2-step algebra equation for the recipient (sp?) to solve before they can read the message.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think we can all agree that we've moved beyond Ron's original question now. But this is an interesting conversation!!!
     
  29. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This is a great idea! Often, the best solutions to a problem are the ones that the students feel they have some ownership in.

    (And, I agree 100% with not always assuming the worst about our students!)
     
  30. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Makes me crazy as well!
     
  31. MissCeliaB

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    Because I have a class set of computers, my desks are in rows that are impossible for me to walk through. The desks are these giant black completely opaque boxes so I can't see anything they do behind, in, or under them. I have no say in how my room is arranged, so I can't just change it to make it easier to monitor. I can't tell if students are using the keyboard or cell phone. I've mostly stopped trying, because typically when I take a phone from a child, it's the parent who was texting in the first place! Our kids don't get in trouble for using phones during class. They get in trouble for getting caught using phones during class.
     
  32. SunnyGal

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    This drives me nuts!! I'm so glad I don't work in our office as an AP or a secretary. I have walked in many times and overheard irate parents who just couldn't understand why their child's phone was taken -- they had an important message to give them!

    I survived high school without a cell phone. If my mom needed to get a message to me, she called the school.
     
  33. Cerek

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    I've also seen parents being part of the problem as well. I've subbed several times for a group of online learners - HS kids that are taking advanced courses or early college courses online. They have a LOT of leeway on their activities. Most of them are honors students and, once they've done their assignments for the day or week, they can play games, watch videos or listen to music on the PCs. However, there are still SOME restrictions and things they CAN'T do. Facebook, MySpace and online chatting are all specifically banned by the teacher and the school. I caught several students chatting through their Gmail accounts. When I confronted one girl, she said "Oh, this is different. This is my mom." :huh:

    I told her it didn't matter, chatting was still not allowed. :naughty: If her mom needed to get a message to her that badly, she could call the school office. (when I looked at the "message", it was just general chit chat, NOT some important message that couldn't wait until after school hours). :p
     
  34. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I am in a private school so they have to wear a school sweatshirt. They all wear exactly the same sweatshirt everyday.
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    OK, that makes sense.

    I had visions of the same Champion sweatshirt being worn 4 or 5 days a week, to take advantage of the hole in the sleeve.

    I trust that, in addition to getting in trouble for cheating, the hole was also a uniform violation:) ???
     
  36. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I wish we could teach kids about real-world (appropriate) cell phone use.

    E.g. when your attention is expected to be focused on something, your cell phone needs to be forgotten. When you've got down time or a transition time, check for messages, do your cell phone business.

    This is how I try to handle it in my classroom.

    I make an exception when testing is going on ... no digital devices at all (unless the test is online, then I monitor laptop screens with DyKnow).

    I talk with students about cell phones in the work place, how personal calls and texting are not appropriate, how attending to the phone all day is not appropriate ... a boss is never going to require all cell phones be put in a box, or confiscate a cell phone ... but, a boss will have expectations of work time being dedicated to work ... that's not a difficult concept to share with students and practice in the classroom.
     
  37. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    ku, we would have to start by teaching it to adults.
     
  38. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    :) I know, but I can dream, can't I?

    I do talk about it with students, and I model it in my classroom by not having my cell phone out or on. By mistake it buzzed last week (weather alert, I forgot to silence it) and my students thought it was SO FUNNY! I was so ashamed.
     
  39. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Mine went off a couple of weeks ago also. I had forgotten to silence it. All the kids stopped and looked at me, waiting to see what I would do.

    I told them to ignore it and it would stop. It did. And it wasn't anything important. I told them I was sorry, and when I could, I went over and turned it off.

    Sometimes you get the chance to teach by example.
     
  40. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    Absolutely!!!! The number of cashiers in Stop and Shop (and Im sure many other places too!)texting while working is crazy!
     
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