When schools allow phones, many positives can happen. Optimally, teachers would use them as a learning device. They could be used as clickers for a quick check during class, students can take photos of their notes, access Google Classroom and Docs, do research, flip through Quizlet flashcards, and more. The possibilities are endless! This is a good opportunity for schools not at 1:1 implementation.
From the parent side of this debate, phones can be used in case of an emergency. They can be used if you need to get in touch with your child (though, the office phone works well for this), for a child walking home from school, and can be silenced to keep away the distraction.
Along with the good uses of phones in schools, there are some downsides. Students can use phones to take video/photos of classmates and teachers and use them negatively online. They can be used to text, access social media, and cause distractions throughout the day. Data plans can go over because of using 3G or 4G instead of WiFi. Parents contacting children without calling the office can cut the office out of the loop on knowing where kids go at the end of the day. It is important for the school to know where students are going at the end of the day. Also, cell phones being at school always face the danger of being stolen.
There are three outcomes:
It is up to schools how they decide to approach BYOT (bring your own technology) or BYOD (bring your own device). I think it is inevitable that they are going to be used in schools, so having a policy in place is very important.
What are your thoughts on having phones in the classroom?
A teacher turned techie with an obsession with Google, teachers that love learning, and students that love life!