Cell Phones

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  1. jwhitg

    jwhitg Rookie

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    Today we had our first staff development today. Our superintendent posed an interesting question. Why do we ban cell phones in the classroom when we can use them to teach??
    I have been thinking on this. I teach middle school English and Reading. Anyone have any ideas for any lessons that can use cell phones?
    Any thoughts on this? Is this just inviting more problems, such as cheating???

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm sorry, but I see no place for cell phones in the classroom. Period.

    What ideas did your superintendent suggest as lesson plans utilizing cell phones? How did he/she address the issue of the (rare?) student who does not have a cell phone?

    Cell phones are a nuisance and a distraction, at best. At worst, they make it easier for kids to cheat and to mentally check out of class.

    I don't want to see cell phones at all, and I will confiscate them if I see them being activated during class.
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    As a parent I can see hwy kid should have cell phones, on them at all times, even while in class becuase to be honest it is alot safer than keeping it in your locker. But I expect my students and my own kids to keep them on silent during class (or off.) If I see or hear them I take them and they get it back at the end of the day. They get one warning for however long I have them and then I take it. If they need to use it I tell them go to the bathroom, just don't let me see it.
     
  5. jwhitg

    jwhitg Rookie

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  6. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    And what would you do if a kid didn't have one? My son is going into 11th grade and doesn't have one (probably the only kid that doesn't, but oh well!). I don't see how it would be a good idea.

    My other son in college could never use his for lesson because he doesn't have a media plan so all he can do with his is make phone calls. Dumb idea, in my opinion!
     
  7. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Give'em an inch, and they'll take a foot! The kids won't just use cell phones as an instructional tool. We had an incident where a student took a picture of a teacher escorting a student who was upset out of the room. He simply put his hand on her opposite shoulder, and this was in front of the entire class! There was a student with a camera phone in the class who took a picture without the teacher knowing. It appeared on the internet, and it didn't look so innocent--it looked completely out of context. I've heard of cell/camera phones being used in similar, inappropriate ways in other schools. My child has a cell phone, but he knows to turn it off or it will be confiscated. My school now has the same policy.
     
  8. new teacher too

    new teacher too Rookie

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    I think students can learn a lot from having mobile phones in the classroom. They can be invaluable for timing science activities, much more efficient than those school supplied stop watches. But most of all they can learn to respect themselves and others by ensuring the phones remain switched off, or at least on silent, and their attention is on the lesson. Simple manners.
     
  9. RLucas

    RLucas Rookie

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    The only way that I am implementing the use of cell phones is working with the kids to take notes the way they text. My AVID kids stuggle taking notes and if they take notes the same way they text they can get a lot of information written down quickly.
     
  10. childcare teach

    childcare teach Comrade

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    MY SON IS 12 AND I GAVE HIM A CELL PHONE WHEN THE SCHOOL HAD HIM WAIT OUTSIDE FOR SOME ONE TO PICK HIM UP. BUT HE HAD TAKEN THE BUS ALL YEAR . WHEN I CALLED IN A PANIC THEY SAID SOME ONE CALLED TO SAY THEY WERE PICKING HIME UP. IT TURN OUT THAT THE SCHOOL HAS WROTE THE WRONG NAME . SO I CALLED THE BUS COMPANY AND THE SCHOOL TO FIND HIM.
    TO ME THE CELL PHONE IS TO BE USED I A CASE LIKE THAT. HE KNOW WHEN HE GETS TO SCHOOL IT GOES OFF AND WHE NHE IS HEADING HOME THE PHONE GOES ONE.
     
  11. KRaeLamb

    KRaeLamb Rookie

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    If you do use them (or texting devices) in the classroom, please encourage proper spelling. I h8 2 c studnts usin bad grammr!!!
     
  12. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    My daughter was a biology T.A. for university seniors. She was horrified to see fourth year students handing in essays that utilized texting short forms, i.e. 4u. :eek: She handed them back and insisted on proper spelling. She couldn't believe that these students would think that this was acceptable in a university level paper.:(
     
  13. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    I don't "allow" them in class per se but I know they have them. If I see them I will tell them to put it away and I haven't had any problems - some repeat offenders but never any kid that refused to put it away. Sometimes if we are doing group work I will sent them into the hallway and they use their phones to keep track of the time (seems like nobody wears a watch anymore!) I also allow them to be used as props in drama class.

    The only really academic use I could see is if you wanted to use the camera component for them to take pictures - like a tableaux kind of activity, or making a scrapbook or something. We only have 2 digital cameras for the whole building (and they are usually kept locked up and are impossible to get at) so I could see something like that if the kids had the capabilities.
     
  14. Hamster

    Hamster Comrade

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    My 6th grader only has a Fire Fly phone. There isn't a key pad on it. Only 20 numbers can be programed on it. Each call costs me .25. It is for emergencies, only. They do not need them during the day. That is what the office is for.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Just to add to mine... I see no place for cell phones to be used in the classroom. Obviously some kids need phones for the walk home or whatever, and that's fine. But the phones don't need to be any place other than in their pockets or in their lockers. And that's that.
     
  16. Miss_snugs

    Miss_snugs Rookie

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    Isn't that telling them it is ok to go against school rules as long as they don't get caught??? Why would a student need to use a cell phone during the school day if there isn't an emergency?
     
  17. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    Even if there is an emergency - there is a phone in the office that can be used. Cell phones are NOT necessary in schools and should not be allowed in classrooms.
     
  18. Miss_snugs

    Miss_snugs Rookie

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    I agree with you but I know it sets some parents' minds at ease if their child has a cell phone at school. Cell phones should not be in classrooms. I was just wondering why a teacher would allow a student to use a cell phone in the bathroom in the middle of a school day.
     
  19. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    I have no problem with students bringing them to school, but they should be left with the homeroom teacher or (for lower grades) in the office. That way, safety to and from school which I assume is the issue, is not compromised.

    But, as I stated before, I really don't think that they should be allowed in the classrooms, or to be used during the school day. They are a major distraction. :2cents: :2cents: :2cents: !! (I can't help myself...)
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree completely--I can't think of one reason why students should need to have a cell phone in a classroom.
     
  21. History Rules!

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    I'm sorry, but I'm on board with the majority here. I have had parents "put their minds at ease" by texting and calling their children in the middle of class (and I'm talking about HS juniors here) in the name of personal emergencies (I'm taking your mom to the doctor to check on her chronic sciatica) to checking up on them to see if they are in school. Call the office and convey the message and do your checking! If parents don't display cell phone discretion and respect the instruction in progress of their children, you can't really expect teenagers to act too appropriately.
     
  22. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    How true!
     
  23. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    How did WE ever make it through twelve years of school without a cell phone? My mom never had to check in with me on the hour! Today, kids text each other instead of passing notes. My son keeps his cell turned off during school, and out of sight!! He has no business using it during school hours. In fact, he uses the office phone if he needs to reach me, which is not very often.

    I teach in a different district, and we do not permit the use of cell phones. I will say, during the last period of the day, I can't believe the number of times everyday that students are called out of class to the office because their parents' are calling THEM!!!:eek: What's with that?? It is very frustrating to be continuously interrupted because so-n-so's mommy wants to talk to them personally, instead of leaving a message. Does anybody else have a problem with this? Mom could leave a message on the cell for Jr. to listen to at the end of the school day!:woot:
     
  24. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Frankly, to me it is not worth the hassle with this whole cell phone things. My kids are allowed to use them in the halls to call their parents if they need them to drop something off at school.
     
  25. Miss_snugs

    Miss_snugs Rookie

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    Of course I wasn't talking about that kind of putting minds at ease. Obviously that is wrong. I'm talking about before and after school hours. I'm on board with the majority as well. Calling parents to ask them to drop of stuff at school teaches kids NO responsibility. If I forget my lesson plan book at home I can't call my mom and ask her to drop it off. I suffer the consequences.
     
  26. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Children today need instant communication and that I believe is why they carry cell phones. Parents also want it too.

    The Principal of a local private school abhors students having cell phones. She believes cell phones are an extension to the mother's apron strings (the where are you at? Who are you with? What are you doing? - get the idea) and believes that they do not teach students certain skills need for life. She had an incident whereby 2 girls were not being nice to each other, the friends had fallen out and words had been said that hurt feelings. One girl gets on the phone to mum and tells her how upset she is. Mum phones the school wanting to know why her daughter is so upset and what are they going to do about it?!

    Now in my day, you fell out with your friend you learned conflict resolution techniques to get back togther, you worked it out. Because you didn't have this instant communication you developed social skills, conflict resolutions skills, etc. Today, the kids just get on the phone for someone else to sort it out and make them feel better.

    I'm with the NO PHONES brigade!
     
  27. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If our kids have forgotten something at home that they need, they can ask permission to use the office phone (sometimes permission is granted, but not always). Students are never called out of class to talk to parents, messages are delivered to the class.
     
  28. hsenglish

    hsenglish Rookie

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    I take the phone away (if its in my class) no questions asked. I also have this written in their syallbus. It also will negatively affect their participation grade. Also, I am having my kids leave their backpacks on tables I've set up in the back of the classroom. They are only to have at their desks their binder and book. All electronics, books, and notes for other classes are to remain in their backpacks at the back of the room. I want them to focus on my class alone, and also I like to do a lot of group work and discussion circles and this allows for us to quickly arrange the desks/move about. Just a suggestion for any of you who are having a real problem with having to tell kids all the time to put away their phone (or other stuff)
     
  29. new teacher too

    new teacher too Rookie

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    It has just occurred to me that they could be used as a personal organizer for noting homework assignments, excursions (and what they will need on the day), reminders of what's coming up. Some of them would be faster at texting this information in to their phones than they would be at writing it into a diary.
     
  30. jwhitg

    jwhitg Rookie

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    I agree they are a big distraction and we have had a policy to take them up. Students had to pay $10 to get it back at one school I worked at.
    I guess our superintendent was wanting us to think of them as mini computers. I know many can access the internet, at a cost. Not every student has one, but almost everyone pulled their phone out last year for me to store when we were TAKS testing last year.
     
  31. bmault

    bmault Rookie

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    I can't believe this is even up for discussion!! No phones on during class. Period. End of topic.
     
  32. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree that it should be that easy.
     
  33. jwhitg

    jwhitg Rookie

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    Well, I only threw it out there because it came from our superintendent - aka, the boss of my boss.
     
  34. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    I would not allow the students to use a cell phone in class. I think this would cause more problems than it is worth. There are better ways to use technology in the classroom.
     
  35. bmault

    bmault Rookie

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    I hear you, but it I would forget about even trying it. Next thing you know, we'll be saying that we should let them eat in class, or listen to music becuase "they learn better that way".

    Another thing, be careful of actually taking a phone. I am not taking a phone, there are people in the building paid to do that. A teacher is our district had his neck broken over an ipod. Maybe you saw it on the news. Call security if there is a problem.
     
  36. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    My daughter's school's policy is that the phone is to be off & out of sight at all times. She had her cell phone taken away, at lunch time, when she pulled it out of her purse to check the time. I had to go pick it up.
     
  37. bmault

    bmault Rookie

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    Guess you bought her a new watch that day huh?;)
     
  38. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    No, she loses watches, almost as fast as I break mine!
     
  39. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    bmault, I haven't heard this story. Did the student actually attack the teacher b/c he took the ipod away from him?:eek:
     
  40. bmault

    bmault Rookie

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    Yeah, he was beaten by two kids later that day or shortly after he took it. You could probably google it to find out more. I wont touch someones stuff, some kids get very aggitated.
     
  41. Mamacita

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    Cell phone tucked away, turned off, in the backpack, pocket, or purse and not touched in any way unless psychotic thugs start shooting it up inside the building, for everyone of any age in the workplace, ANY workplace.

    The kids are in SCHOOL, and we are at WORK, friends. I refill my prescriptions after midnight when the lines are more free, at HOME, and I make my appointments in the parking lot BEFORE the car starts moving. If I'm ever in an accident, God forbid, and someone is hurt or killed, I don't want it to be because I was ordering booze or telling my kid we'll stop at WalMart and just buy ANOTHER pink lunchie or, well, on the PHONE for pretty much any reason. I would not be able to live with myself if that ever happened. And if someone ever hurt my children because he/she was talking on the phone instead of driving safely, or talking on the phone instead of teaching my children, or talking on the phone on their lunch hour even though it was forbidden and the phone call wasn't about ambulances or emergency surgery, I'd probably follow them home and burn down their house. Okay, I wouldn't. But I'd want to. And they would totally deserve it.

    After hours, let those perky little thumbs tap away; nobody cares. During work hours, all perky thumbs and just simply ultra-cool Justin Timberlake ringtones should NOT be heard or seen. During work hours, all perky thumbs belong to the job, and those perky voices should not be heard unless called upon.

    If your child misses the bus, or band practice is canceled, or "I can't find my pink lunchbox waaaaahhh," that's an after-school call.

    My son missed the bus once. He never did again. That was one really really really long, wet walk home. Sure, he had a cell phone. But missing the bus was his own fault so we made him pay the consequences. He was 13. And when his history teacher confiscated his cell phone because he was caught playing a game on it, we did not storm the school and demand that it be returned. We laughed and told him he got exactly what he deserved. He got it back on the last day. The batteries were totally dead. He had to buy new ones with his own money.
     
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