Saturday, November 28, 2009

Teachers begin using cell phones for class lessons

By CHRISTINE ARMARIO

The Associated Press
Friday, November 27, 2009
washingtonpost.com

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. -- Ariana Leonard's high school students shuffled in their seats, eagerly awaiting a cue from their Spanish teacher that the assignment would begin.

 "Take out your cell phones," she said in Spanish.

 The teens pulled out an array of colorful flip phones, iPhones and SideKicks. They divided into groups and Leonard began sending them text messages in Spanish: Find something green. Go to the cafeteria. Take a picture with the school secretary.

 Leonard's class at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel, a middle-class Florida suburb about 30 miles north of Tampa, is one of a growing number around the country that are abandoning traditional policies of cell phone prohibition and incorporating them into class lessons. Spanish vocabulary becomes a digital scavenger hunt. Notes are copied with a cell phone camera. Text messages serve as homework reminders.

 "I can use my cell phone for all these things, why can't I use it for learning purposes?'" Leonard said. "Giving them something, a mobile device, that they use every day for fun, giving them another avenue to learn outside of the classroom with that."

 Much more attention has gone to the ways students might use phones to cheat or take inappropriate pictures. But as the technology becomes cheaper, more advanced and more ingrained in students' lives that mentality is changing.

 Read more HERE.  

2 comments:

LegalBeaglette said...

This is a "technology" about which this school system has been positively phobic, so I KNEW this headline was not about CCPS!

valkett said...

Our school system should be doing something like this. The current rule regarding cell phones in the county is embarrassing. We are living in a digital age and instead of trying to act as though cell phones don't (or shouldn't) exist, the school system should be looking at using them in positive ways. The article mentioned that attention has been given to the use of cell phones to cheat... but guess what?? Kids have been cheating as long as there has been school. Cell phones are just a new way. Should we take away pens and paper because they use those to cheat as well? Most cell phones have calendars, notes, cameras, etc. They could be used to manage homework, copy notes, blast texts regarding upcoming exams or projects and other utilities. An increasing number of students have smart phones of some sort or another (or iTouches) that have thousands of applications available. Many of these applications and cell phones in general could be used to enhance their learning experience and get students engaged in learning. We are supposed to be a technology school system, let's start acting like it.