Cell Phones in the Classroom: Policy, Advantages, & Disadvantages

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Introduction Electronic devices, particularly cellular phones have become a mainstay in our society. Cell phones and other forms of hand-held digital technology have made their way into the classroom and has become a common accessory among high school and middle school students. By the time a student is in middle school, it is likely that they already own a cell phone and carry it with them wherever they go (Lucking, Edwin & Mervyn, 2010). As the technological capabilities of these hand held devices increase and the upsurge of their popularity continues, educators race to establish protocol for their use at school (Charles, 2012). These policies range from very loose guidelines to zero tolerance. As educators seek to meet the needs of their students, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of these technological devices when establishing acceptable use policies that provide access, while eliminating distractions during instruction. The Student, the Teacher, and Technology Prensky (2001) argues that currently, our educational system is not designed to teach the students of today. He defines today’s students as “digital natives”, individuals who are technologically savvy, and have spent much of their lives surrounded by computers, video games, and other technological tools and toys; individuals who are native speakers of the tech-language of today (2001). Prensky defines teachers, however, as “digital immigrants”, individuals who did not grow up speaking the tech-language of today and who did not grow up surrounded by the technology (Prensky, 2001). Considering that many teachers are not “digital natives,” there is a great divide among teachers and students when it comes t... ... middle of paper ... ... phone use on expected and actual learning. College Student Journal, 46(2), 323-332. Gilroy, M. (2004). Invasion of the classroom cell phones. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 69(6), 56-60. Humble-Thaden, M. B. (2011). Student reflective perceptions of high school educational cell phone technology usage. The Journal of Technology Studies, 37(1), 10-16. Irina, A. (2012). A cell phone in the classroom: a friend or a foe?. European Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning (EUROCALL). 17-20. Kolb, L. (2007). Should cell phones be banned from classrooms: No. Learning & Leading with Technology, 38(4), 8-9. La Roche, C. R., & Flanigan, M. A. (2012). Student use of technology in class: engaged or unplugged?. Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC),10(1), 47-54.

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