- Christian Lemke
Should smart phones be allowed in the classroom?
Smart phones are already in the classroom, and that is not likely to change, regardless of rule, threat or consequence. Allowing them, but insisting that they are not concealed is a better approach for two reasons: Firstly, teaching explicit instruction on exactly when it is appropriate to respond to a text can happen. Secondly, the teacher will be aware more often of the moments when students have been distracted, so the redirecting of focus for individuals can happen.
Closing Statement from Christian Lemke
I love this site! Great comments all around. In closing, I'm not dissuaded from allowing students measured access to their phones based on what I've read.
Using the phones to cheat in class came up, which, I have to admit I hadn't paid much attention to. In my high-school class environment the cheating is more likely to occur in multi-section courses, where student in period 1 texts info to student taking the same class in period 2. I'm a single section, so it's a non-issue for me, but an issue worth exploring to help in other circumstances.
The question of a student's 'right to bear phones' in class came up, using the argument that paying customers of education should feel free to engage, or not engage... after all, they paid. Like TK, I don't buy it for a second, because fiddling at inappropriate times is distracting to the other paying customers nearby. It's simply rude/selfish in a presumably academic environment.