No cellphones allowed! …..maybe?

Cellphones: They seem to be the booming problem of the 21st century and the younger generation according to society.  I don’t remember one day in high school that went by without a teacher or faculty member telling me or a fellow student to put away our cellphones.  I personally believe they had a just reason for doing so. After all, no teacher wants their students texting while they should be paying attention in class. Furthermore, I believe that the idea of cellphones in school has gotten such a negative connotation, that implementing them into the learning system may be a long shot.

However, in the article  “Enriching literacy with cellphones: 3 ideas to get started”,  the author Lisa Nielsen, discusses the positive use of cellphones in the classroom in order to enhance learning.  While many educators may still be against this idea, after reading the article, I believe these ideas could be a great way to get students actively interested in learning.  As the title states, the author discusses three individual ways that teachers can implement cellphones into their everyday lessons.  The first method she discusses is the use of texting.  While most teachers would immediately leap of their chairs when hearing this idea, I believe the author made several good points on why this may very well work.   She mentions that the increase of text messaging in teens and tweens has aided in their reading, but most importantly, writing skills (Nielsen).  I personally agree with the benefits of texting, considering I feel that I benefited from the use of social media, specifically texting, when it comes to writing.  Even though many teens may use texting “lingo” opposed to full, correct English words, Nielsen uses that fact to implement her first idea.  She suggests letting students use their cellphones or even computers, along with their texting “lingo”, to write their first drafts and ideas of whatever assignment they are responsible for writing.  She believes this can help the students to have a  quick, free flow of ideas just as their text messages, and can therefore, lead to an edited version that will be in standard English.  I find this to be not only a positive idea for the students, who may even learn to enjoy writing assignments, but may lead the teacher to feel a stronger connection with her students, and lead her to receive better papers.

Nielsen’s second idea is incorporating the use of Google Voice to capture students’ voices in order to aid in oral reports.  Instead of students having to dread oral reports (which is exactly what happened to me in high school), Nielsen suggests the use of Google Voice for recording and sending oral reports instead of delivering them live.  This idea provides students a relief from the agonizing dread of giving an oral presentation, and could even lead to higher grades due to the elimination of mistakes.  Along with the texting idea, I  believe this would not only help students to feel less pressure, but can lead to a great opportunity for fun in the classroom.

Nielsen’s third idea is the use of video on their cellphones for recording themselves or others reciting or delivering speeches.  This idea is perhaps my favorite, due to the fact that Nielsen suggests students using their cellphones to record themselves and classmates acting out scenes from the story or novel they are currently reading in the classroom.  This, to me, seems like a fantastic idea, because it can not only provide the students with a more effective way of understanding what they are reading, but it can be used and shown in the classroom for other to watch and compare.  It could even lead to laughs and entertainment!

Nielsen wraps us her article with the comment, “Children deserve nothing less than for their teachers to embrace the power of this technology and support them in becoming learners who can use the powerful computing tools to which they already have access to soar to new heights.”  This is a very powerful and true statement that I believe every teacher should read and be aware of.  Most of us are aware that even with these great ideas, the challenges of bringing in cellphones to the learning environment could be harder than they look.  However, I believe that with determination, Nielsen’s ideas could lead to an increase in both enjoyment and learning, engaging students while using their well-known devices which they hold so near and dear to their <3.

Therefore, having gotten a grasp on Nielsen’s ideas of incorporating cellphones, do you think these ideas could be effective in a classroom environment? Or is this simply too far fetched of an idea?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “No cellphones allowed! …..maybe?

  1. brittanygage4

    I found this article really interesting! Students today are growing up in an ever expanding technological era. To incorporate something they use daily into the learning process seems like such a no brainer that I can’t believe this is the first I’ve ever heard of it. What I found to be the best idea for cell phone use was that of video recording. High school requires oral presentations and I remember watching those who couldn’t bear to be in front of the class. Recording themselves will give them a way to practice as well as confidence.

  2. abthib

    I enjoyed reading this post! Technology is not going away, and so I think it is smart for teachers to evolve and to incorporate technology into their teaching in any way that they can.

  3. abthib

    I just found this article that I thought would add an interesting aspect/argument to the discussion of cell phones in the classroom:

    http://mashable.com/2012/10/15/wireless-reach-students/

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