New cell phone policy in my HS

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by atomic, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Kids are now allowed to have them on their person. Text in the hallways, lunchroom, and classroom(if the teacher says its ok). They can call and talk on them in the hallway, lunchroom, student resource period(mandatory study hall/free period) and if the teahcer says its ok in class.

    They said its because its not legal to confiscate personal property from the students and to eleviate conflicts for the staff.

    I can still ban them from my class, but I can only discipline them for insubordination if they use them. (I'll just be the bad guy, mean teacher, if I do this. The majority of teachers are going to let the kids use them just to avoid arguments)

    We were also told that we should start using them as a tool in class.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Funny- I'm in NJ and we were told at our first staff meeting this past week to NOT use our own cell phones at all during classtime. (duh?) We are all going to keep on silent mode, out of sight and only check on free periods and lunch...I'm elementary so kids having phones tends not to be an issue.

    Who would allow a kid to talk on a cell phone during class? :eek:
     
  4. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Cell phones are not to be seen or heard in our building at all during the school day. If a student is caught with a cell phone, it is taken to the office and they get automatic In-School-Suspension for 2 days. They can pick it up after school. 2nd offense and mom or dad has to come pick it up and they get 1 day Out-of-School Suspension. Third offense is 3 days OSS. 4th and each subsequent offense is 10 days OSS. Refusal to give up the cell phone when asked is automatic 1-10 days OSS.
     
  5. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    It strikes me as ridiculous.

    Children are in my class to LEARN, not to text their friends, not to have Mom or Dad call them during class when they could easily call the office and leave a message, not to play games or go on Facebook or take pictures of my tests and quizzes. That is MY TIME to spend introducing, reinforcing, and exploring concepts with the child; I do NOT accept anything less their full attention.

    If I see a phone, I ask the child to put the phone away. If I hear a phone, I confiscate it; the parent can pick it up in the office the next day. I've never even taken my phone out of my purse in class - who else is going to set the example if it isn't me?
     
  6. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Wow. I could say so much more, but I'm just going to stick with "wow."
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Wow.

    So, because it's hard to enforce, we drop the rule entirely.

    Now THAT'S what I call leadership.
     
  8. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Cell phones can be used as an educational tool. Students just have to be taught how to use them appropriately in the classroom.

    Cell phones in my classroom need to be out on student desks where I can see them. Use the phone without permission and school rules will be enforced, meaning I take the phone and they can get it from the office after school.

    I subscribed to polleverywhere.com. I can embed multiple choice or open response questions on a powerpoint slide and students can use their phones to respond. I use it to guage student understanding at the moment.
    I can also use this as a warm up exercise when I am taking attendance, using a logic question of some sort. Students can see their open text responses as the site receives them. For the multiple choice poll, students see the bar graph of student opinions changing. Students love when they can use their phones in class.

    My rule about texting to the polls: Abuse the site by posting BS, and the class loses the privilege of using the site for at least one week. One class out of 6 has had their texting privilege revoked--and they miss it.

    Other teachers in my school have students enter homework assignments (especially long term ones) on their phone calendar.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    On the other hand, eventually, the real world comes crashing down....

    A rather young employee at my office was fired recently because nobody bothered to teach this person that breaking rules has consequences. The rule in this case is the cell phone free zones (we actually have designated areas where cell phones are allowed, anywhere else they're not allowed). This person decided to use the cell phone anyway. More than once. This person is now unemployed.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I had an instructional coach try to tell me that using cellphones in the classroom was the wave of the future. I should embrace it and make it part of my instruction.

    ????

    We used that poll thing during her lesson to us. She did not learn anything from us texting in our message that she could not have learned from us holding up a flash card with A,B,C or D on it.

    Not all of my students have cell phones.

    I think it is a ridiculous rule and I'm grateful that it isn't at my school. Yet, at least!
     
  11. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    The fewer confrontations, the better. Beats getting slashed across the face with switchblade/razor - which lasts forever - over a cell phone. (As what happened to a 24 year-old teacher at a nearby school.)
     
  12. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    To those using cell phones in their classes: what happens to the students who have no phone or a basic phone and no texting package? I know kids love to text, but all parents can't afford unlimited texting plans.

    I have an iphone, but I don't spend the extra (considerable!) money for unlimited texting.

    I think this is a horrible idea and an example of using technology just for the sake of using technology.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree. Just because technology is available doesn't mean that it needs to be used all of the time.

    In all of our schools (elementary and high schools) cell phones are to be off (or on silent) in lockers during class time. In most elementary schools, they are not to be used on school property, high schools usually relax this and allow their use during lunch, etc. The difficulty comes, I believe, when everyone doesn't enforce the policy. If just one teacher goes against policy and allows cell phones (or doesn't enforce dress code, or lets the kids go to their lockers when they aren't supposed to) it makes it that much more difficult for everyone.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I agree with almost every word :D

    Our kids are not allowed to use them during the school day, period.
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    If our kids are caught with them on in class, we take them up and they go in a safe in the office for five school days. I felt really bad for the kids who had them picked up the week before winter or spring break last year! Most of our kids have spare phones at home (or even in their purses or lockers) and when a teacher takes the phone they slide out the SIM card. But at least they lose their nice phones for awhile. And, when they are using an MP3 player in class, we can take it until the end of the day, but most of us give them back at the end of the hour.
     
  16. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Sep 4, 2010

    Ironically, I remember when TI graphing calculators were banned from math classes. Now they are viewed as a necessity in most upper level courses. These came out after I graduated, so I didn't see the value in them. After all, I learned calculus without it. How many students and math classes today DON'T use graphing calculators today?

    On a side note, my son had to come home from college to get his old scientific calculator (non-graphing) because his chemistry professor won't allow the graphing calculators, since they are essentially mini computers and can be programmed.
     
  17. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    We don't have a cell phone policy at our school either. Kids can use them in the halls between classes and at lunch. In classes, it's up to the individual teacher to make the rules. My rule is no cell phones.

    I do find that without a school-wide policy, it's hard to enforce. The kids think I'm blind. I can't tell you how many times I've confiscated a cell phone from a kid who was trying to text under their table. They're shocked that I could tell they were texting. Um...I can see under the table from the front of the room!!!:lol:
     
  18. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    I understand this is an issue. Questions are designed to get them to think about the day's class. Students without phones converse with those that do, come up with an agreed upon answer and then it is texted in. Everyone still participates.

    I had students fill out an appointment sheet for work partners. We are supposed to halt class about every 8 minutes so kids can "share" the important elements of that segment of instruction. If both have texting, they can text each other at that time-I DO have a copy of everyone's appointments and I DO ask to see the text received from that review. If one student has no phone, this turns into a verbal conference.

    Freshman this year have laptops, so the poll site can be used that way as well. This is the first year for this. No system is perfect when it is first implemented. Phone access is iffy at times in my room, new laptops are already experiencing freeze-ups and other technical glitches, so raising a hand and using a voice are still the most reliable methods of communication.

    My upper level classes: I am awful at stopping periodically so they can teach each other. BUT they do ask lots of questions during class, and they always work on new material in small groups (using the appointments page), so the cell phone poll is viewed by them as an extra way to get involved in class.
     
  19. onestepcloser

    onestepcloser Companion

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    One school I did a student teaching placement at had a strict no cell phone policy. They couldn't be used in the halls at all. All teachers enforced it, whether the student they saw using it was their own student or not. I was amazed at how well it worked, and part of the reason it worked so well was because of consistency - all teachers enforced it, and we (student teachers) were told to close the office door if we were using our own cell phones during lunch/off periods. I don't think cell phones should be used in the classroom. My sister told me a teacher she had has a thing that cuts off the wireless signal in a room. So if he sees someone using their cell phone he hits the button on the device and it temporarily kills the signal so the kid can't text and the phone goes away. I thought that was kind of ingenius of him :D
     
  20. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    It's also illegal. The federal government considers the communications systems to be one of the top priorities. If you'll notice, the first two things any government addresses during and after a disaster is power and communications. Doing anything to interfere with that isn't taken lightly. I would highly recommend you NOT follow that example.
     
  21. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Now is the time for someone to turn my brilliant idea into an invention.

    A cell phone that will not send a text unless all of the spelling and grammar is correct.
    This cell phone would have a distinctive appearance and be the only phone that students could use in class. You would also not be able to disable the spelling and grammar feature either.

    (insert evil teacher laugh here).
     
  22. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I would be first in line to buy that!
     
  23. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Save me a spot right behind you in line, mmswm!
     
  24. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    After thinking about it a little, we might have have to push TG out of the way to get the first spot in line. :D
     
  25. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Ooooh I want one!!!

    This is the FIRST year I haven't said "No text speak!" for writing in my class in YEARS. The 6th grade teachers trained them up right :D
     
  26. onestepcloser

    onestepcloser Companion

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    Oops, LOL. I will not be following that example. I'm not in the US but I'm willing to bet it's illegal here too in that case.
     
  27. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oh, I totally get the desire to want to use such a devise. And actually, not to long ago, there was a thread started by a new teacher who got in a LOT of trouble for using one when he or she was unaware of the laws. Thankfully, in that case, the admin chalked it up to lesson learned, but it could have gone in a very different direction.
     
  28. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Three years ago we tried allowing students access to their phones during passing periods and during lunch. Three things happened - we had a dramatic increase in fights (mostly girls from forwarding texts, starting fights while texting), we had hook-ups in bathrooms and students sending pictures of their private parts during school hours. we were notified of this occurring by a parent who while checking out her daughter's phone noticed the sext and that it occurred during the school day.

    So the next year our policy changes to no cell phones during school hours and phones can not even be visible during school hours. Fights are down, bathroom hook-ups are down and sexting at least during school hours have not been reported. I guess I don't really understand enough to know how using a phone enhances educational instruction. But as far as the argument that phones should be excepted as it is used everywhere, our teacher that runs our business program that helps students get jobs their senior year for credit (JAG program) has at least 1/2 of his students reprimanded or even fired for cell phone useage on the job.
     
  29. onestepcloser

    onestepcloser Companion

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    Yeah, that teacher was very lucky it didn't go in a different direction. That must've been a tough learning experience. One issue I had at another school I did my student teaching at (not the one that had the strict no cell phone policy) was my host teacher sometimes let students use their cell phones in class if they were done their work. So, it was hard for me to enforce no cell phones during class because the host teacher did let them use them sometimes. I'm a new teacher now and want my classroom to be a no cell phone use zone when I start this week, but I have the feeling I will get resistance from students. Fingers crossed I can handle it well.
     
  30. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I tried to make this same point earlier. I currently work in a corporate job. I've only been here since Feb. and at least one person that I know of has been fired for cell phone use. The thing is, the company goes out of it's way to make sure our personal communication needs are met. Because of the nature of the business, cell phones aren't allowed anywhere computer monitors are visible. The company has designed the office so there are several spaces dotted throughout the building in which cell phones can be used. There are also several places where nice comfy chairs, a coffee table and a land line are provided for our use if we want to make personal calls during the day. In spite of all of this, people STILL think they can use their phones whenever, and at least in this one case, it got the person fired. I would MUCH rather have seen this person get in a lot of trouble in high school, when the consequence was much less life altering, than get to the "real" world, and get fired. In this economy, how easy is it going to be to get another job when that person had to admit to having been fired for not following a simple rule? Just sad, if you ask me.
     
  31. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Someone at a child care center I worked at in the past was fired for cell phone use. She had been warned but continued to use it and was fired.
     
  32. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'm in a sour mood right now, and this whole bit just annoys me. If I were an administrator and had a voice in this, I would not allow students to use their cell phones as described in the original post. I'm too tired to go on about texting answers... :rolleyes:
     
  33. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I encourage smartphone use in my college writing classes for several reasons, one of which is that I hide extra credit all over Twitter, FB, and Blackboard, and the first student to answer gets the points. I consider it a communication AND reference resource, and I phrase the questions so that it's not a matter of a simple "Googling." There will always be students who don't have access to something, be it a set of encyclopediae, soap, a dictionary, TV, intact family, mittens, good role models at home, or whatever. We cannot penalize students for keeping current. I do, however, forbid social, unnecessary use of the cell phone, and if a phone rings, students must answer it in full view and hearing of us all. It doesn't take long for word to get out: "Don't call me during class!" Also, texting during a quiz or test is automatically interpreted as cheating, and the student gets a zero. Same rule applies to individual laptops. Billy has one but Susie doesn't? That's a shame, but why penalize Billy for it? But if Billy decides to harvest his sunflowers during class, he won't receive credit for class that day. Some teachers worry that students can find all answers via Google, but the solution to that is simple: phrase your questions so they can't be found on Google; at least, not completely. It takes a little work on our part but I figure that's part of keeping up with the times.
     
  34. apple25

    apple25 Comrade

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    So glad I'm not teaching in your class! Our school has decided no cells in the school at all, and IPODs only at lunch (middle school). If a student is using a cell phone we first ask them to bring it to their locker, otherwise it will be stored in the office. We don't "take" them per say - we just limit their use. Kind of like when you are in an airplane and you have to turn off electronics during take off. :whistle:
     
  35. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Well...its already been a problem.

    In every class, I had students texting under their desks. Most made phone calls to friends as they left the class just because they could.

    I had multiple students talk about "making money" will be easier and welcome to the "making money" club. I can only imagine they are talking about drug deals.

    During the SRP(student resource period) they all wanted to text. On a side note, I heard 5 students talking about drinking in the woods...phone calls home and word with each counselor will now take up my prep period for the next few days. Then there will be the meetings with parents...aghhhhh!!!!!

    I just want to teach MATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  36. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    My school has a super strict no cell phone policy. They have to have them turned off and kept in their backpack in their locker. If we even see a cell phone, it's turned over to the principal and she keeps it for the entire school year. Needless to say, very rarely is a student dumb enough to have their cell phone out.
     
  37. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Madness!

    Who is in charge here? Sounds like the adults are abdicating all of their responsibilities and handing over control to the kids.

    Fortunately our school's policy is no cell phones allowed. I give the students one chance to put it away if I see or hear it. After that I confiscate it. Their parents must come in to claim the phone.
    l
     
  38. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    In my school, students have to drop their phones off in the office, where they're kept in a locked box until dismissal. I'm not sure what the consequences are though, since I do Early Childhood, and thank God, the parents aren't dumb enough to give they're four year old kids phones. I did see the cell phone check out in the high school office today though...those kids certainly have patience!
     
  39. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Still an ongoing problem with no solution in sight.

    What really gets me is, they don't even bother using it to cheat. They just ignore everything else and text all day.

    I never thought I'd say this, but I just don't get kids today...
     
  40. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Our kids "park" their phones in their homeroom teacher's filing cabinets. Usually only 2 or 3 kids bring their phones.
     
  41. newteacherhelp

    newteacherhelp New Member

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    Our new school has concrete walls and special paint that makes it difficult to get cell phone reception. Pity.
     

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