Cell phones

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

  1. AF Mom

    AF Mom Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 4, 2014

    I teach 7th grade Language Arts and I wanted to get some of your thoughts on having cell phones in the classroom. Right now our school says they can have their phones but they must be turned off. The problem is some teachers let the kids listen to music and play games when they are done with their work. Also, the kids can have them before school starts and during lunch. We also have parents who feel it is ok to call or text their kids while they are in class. I think we are giving the kids mixed messages. What does your school say about phones and what do you allow in your room? I know they can be used in an educational setting but not sure how? One more thing, The high School banned phones during school hours.:dizzy:
     
  2.  
  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,830
    Likes Received:
    1,653

    Mar 5, 2014

    At my school, we are trialing having the students bring their own devices (smart phones, tablets, etc) to use as an instructional aid. They are only to use them as directed (e.g. when doing research) and are not able to use them to call, text, play games, or do anything that hasn't been specifically directed. They also aren't able to use them at all during recesses or between classes. A few reminders are needed, and I confiscate a phone or two every week, but it's going quite well. I think that consistency is the key--everyone needs to be on the same page and reinforce the policies.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Mar 5, 2014

    You're right...the problem is that teachers are not following the rules. Administration needs to address the issue. Off during class means off during class. No music, no texts from Mommy. Off.
     
  5. strassy

    strassy Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 5, 2014

    We have a "See It, Hear It, Lose It" policy. Phones are supposed to be in their locker at all times during the school day. So far this year I've confiscated phones about five times. They are given to the assistant principal.
     
  6. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 5, 2014

    The students can use them before school, after school, during lunch, and during the 6 minute passing period. If I see it I take it give it to the office and the student has to get it after school. Some teachers give it back at the end of class and others let it slide.
     
  7. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    134

    Mar 11, 2014

    Nothing to say except this reminds me, last year my son had his phone taken away 5 times. There is a fine for having your phone taken away. He paid all of them, just a parent had to go get it from the office. I haven't had to get his phone out of jail this year. Well played son well played!!! Of course since I said this next week I will have to get it..
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    146

    Mar 12, 2014

    We have a similar policy but it's teacher discretion. I'm fine with it. They use it to look things up, type papers, etc... I let them know when it's okay and when it's not.
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Mar 12, 2014

    I'm sure my opinion won't be popular, but I'm coming at it from a former teacher/parent perspective.

    I just feel like it is a battle not worth the fight. Cell phones are a part of our students, and that's not gonna be changed any time soon. So schools can ban and confiscate and punish, but it will continue to waste teachers and parents time.

    As far as texting and calling students in class, I know I have been guilty of that. My daughter's school has a no see/no hear policy. Her phone is off during the day (it is disabled with our parental controls anyway-except for emergency calls-so there is no point in her wasting her battery). I have text her during the day because I might need to tell her to ride the bus home after school, and I remembered that at 11:30. So perhaps other parents are the same-they assume it's off, and when the student turns it back on they will get it. If it's not off, the text comes through.

    I'm just trying to see it from another perspective. Parents are not all out to destroy a school or its culture.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Mar 12, 2014

    I don't think parents are at fault...students should have them off or silenced. Just like turning them off or on silent for church, kids need to learn cell phone manners.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    146

    Mar 12, 2014

    This is exactly how my P feels.
     
  12. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    134

    Mar 12, 2014

    After think about this a while I do have some thoughts. I teach at the elementary level, in fact the lower level. k-3. There is absolutely no reason for a kid at my school to have a phone. My daughter is in the 5th grade and has a phone but she is not allowed to take it to school. Again at that age, 4th and 5th graders I see no reason for them to have it. I know several kids that do have their phone at school. They do have lockers and thats where they are supposed to stay. Middle school is maybe a different story. Especially once they start doing sports or after school stuff in 7th grade. But there in lies a problem are these kids mature enough to understand when to keep their phones out of sight out of mind. Depends. High school the same thing. Kids will be kids and all use their phones when they arent supposed too. I can see both sides of the coin. As a teacher, who wants to have their lessons disrupted by phones. As a parent who has need to get a hold of my children in the middle of the day I can see texting or calling at certain times be allowed. Anyway is there one answer for this problem. No! I am torn!
     
  13. Rox

    Rox Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    19

    Mar 14, 2014

    My school has a 1:1 iPad program. Cell phones must be turned off and in students' backpacks (we don't have lockers). I have my students leave their iPads off, closed, and face down on their desks or in their backpack. When I give permission, then they can use their iPads. If they don't follow the rules, they go on a separate table and students cannot use it until the end of class. The problem with this is a lot of students' work is on the iPads. Sometimes I'll tell a student he has to write it out on paper, but sometimes the assignment requires an app, such as iMovie or Popplet. As for parents contacting students, I try not to discourage it, because many of my students are struggling with English, so it's a great way to practice.
     
  14. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 14, 2014

    If parents need to get in touch with their kid they can call the school. The school has phones and a secretary who can direct the call to the classroom...I don't think needing to call your kid in the middle of the day is a reason for them to have a cell phone handy.
     
  15. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    134

    Mar 14, 2014

    We have had this discussion on this board before with that same exact reason why kids don't need their cell phones. I will tell you as a parent I have had several messages not make it to my child for whatever reason. Not blaming anyone, not mad, it just happens. The schools that my children have attended do not have phones in the classroom and they have to rely on students who work in the office to take the messages. Kids get distracted, kids loose things, kids forget to take messages. Again not blaming , not mad , it just happens. So my older children took their phones to school. They knew the rules about having them were they were supposed to be and if they broke the rules they suffered the same consequences everyone else did. In this day age of things that happen I would rather my son have his phone at school for the just in case a crazy person come to school and starts only God knows what. It hasn't happened, but you never know! BTW I try really hard to only text my son when he is at lunch. He has an open campus for lunch and he walks home.
    But like I said I teach at a k-3 campus. There is no way any students on my campus should have a phone.
     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    146

    Mar 14, 2014

    We have just one secretary who wears many hats. Any work I can take off her plate, I try. I'd love it if parents could just send their messages straight to the kid.
     
  17. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 14, 2014

    i hate the excuse "my mom/dad is texting me" as for why they are on their phones instead of paying attention to what is going on in class. Also there is some unnecessary drama from other students texting insults to each other and arrange fights via cell phone messages in between classes.

    Personally I would prefer if students were required to leave their phones in their locker, however we have an overcrowding problem and not all students have lockers and have to bring their phones to class.

    I try and enforce that they put their phone away during instructional time but let them have it out to research an answer or if they have an emergency in the family (one student had a dying grandmother in the hospital).

    Phones are tools that can be helpful if used correctly, but like scissors: requires some training and classroom expectations.
     
  18. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    16

    Mar 15, 2014

    I often do see parents text and call their children during the school day and this is a constant excuse I hear from the kids as to why they need their phone on them.

    My school's latest issue is the FaceTime (??? - that's what the kids call it; I have an Android and know nothing about Apple) on their iPhones. Kids are FaceTiming each other in school or with people out of school all day long. Literally. It's a fight I have every single period.
     
  19. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 16, 2014

    txmomteacher - ooh ok yes I understand what you're saying about messages being delivered incorrectly or not delivered at all. Yeah I would NOT leave that up to students. I don't have kids so I guess I'm oversimplifying things.
    Hmmm yeah, so I think then, either schools should allow phones with clear training and classroom expectations on them OR not allow phones and be really good about efficient ways to convey messages from parents to kids in school when necessary (like classroom phones). We have classroom phones at our school and each has an extension which you can find online so parents can theoretically just call the classroom. It is distracting...my admin call me a lot even though they have my schedule and know that I'm teaching, but...well...

    I remember hearing my secretary complaining about kids texting their parents to say they're sick and need to be picked up from school and then having parents magically show up and no one knew that the kid was sick, they didn't go to the nurse, and now the parent thinks they're supposed to be going home. I don't know how they deal with that but it just seems so silly...
     
  20. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    16

    Mar 16, 2014

    My students do this all the time. Since they are in HS, all they have to do is text their parent to say they want to go home and then have their parent call up to the school and give permission for the child to leave. The child can then leave if their parent signed some "free to walk home" waiver in the beginning on the year. It's crazy, IMO.
     
  21. bebbj3

    bebbj3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 6, 2014

    My school doesnt allow cell phones. If it is seen or heard, it gets confiscated to the office.

    That said, almost 90% of the 7th Grade brings in their phones to class.
     
  22. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0

    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.
     
  23. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 6, 2014

    i hate cell phones in school
     
  24. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    6

    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.
     
  25. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    12

    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.
     
  26. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    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.
     
  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,307
    Likes Received:
    950

    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.
     
  28. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    12

    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.
     
  29. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,307
    Likes Received:
    950

    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.
     
  30. blel0906

    blel0906 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    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.
     
  31. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,480
    Likes Received:
    2,360

    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:
     
  32. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    5

    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.
     
  33. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    0

    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.
     
  34. Mystic

    Mystic Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    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.
     
  35. Switch

    Switch Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3

    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.
     
  36. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    196

    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.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Linguist92021,
  2. futuremathsprof,
  3. ms.irene,
  4. SpecialPreskoo
Total: 445 (members: 6, guests: 416, robots: 23)
test