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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Panel: Cell phones have much potential in classrooms

New paper reports that students' cell phone use is growing, and educators should harness the power of mobile devices
By Maya T. Prabhu, Assistant Editor

Teachers are finding interesting and creative ways to include mobile phones in classroom instruction in an effort to bridge the divide between the technologies children use at home and what they use in school, education technology experts say.

Teachers should embrace the technology that students use outside of school while creating compelling lessons, panelists said

Common Sense Media hosted a series of panel discussions April 21 that examined how mobile technology can both help and hinder children’s development and education.

Kipp Rogers, principal of Passage Middle School in Newport News, Va., said students at his school have used cell phones in class for the past three years. The practice began when he was teaching a math class and did not have enough calculators for every student during a test, until he realized he had a calculator on his PDA.
He said he asked the students to get their cell phones from their lockers; Passage’s policy had been that students can have phones on campus, but they must be turned off and kept in lockers. Rogers said that after letting students use their cell phones on the test, he started letting them use their phones every Friday.
“And the students began to come to me with ideas for new ways they could use their phones, like, ‘We can take pictures of the homework and send it to the students [who] were absent,’” he said.

Related links
Common Sense Media
Passage Middle School

Source: eSchool News