Cell Phones in Education

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Running Head: CELL PHONES AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT 1
Cell Phones and Student Achievement
A Literature Review
Garry J. Walsh
008213738
A Paper to fulfill Partial Requirements for Education 6590
Professor Robert Kelly
Memorial University of Newfoundland
August 1, 2012
CELL PHONES AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT 2
Abstract
Cell phones have evolved from a communications device to becoming the tool of the business world. While you can still make phone calls, it is all the options that make it so popular with the everyday consumer and students. Young people have made it not only the tool of choice for communicating with their friends, but it has become a mass storage device, a camera for stills and video, the preferred tool for updating Facebook, emailing friends, texting and seeking information via the Internet with its built in browser. The available onboard tools and the variety of apps available for download is the basis for this study. These tools are in the pockets of many teenagers and are a presence in the classroom. This literature review will present innovative ways the cell phone is being used and positive and negative influences the cell phone has on student achievement. Although several studies demonstrate increases in student participation in class, the results reveal that there is no conclusive evidence indicating cell phone use is positively or negatively influential on student achievement but that further research is needed. Key Words: cell phones, smart phones, m-learning, student achievement CELL PHONES AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT 3

Table of Contents
Introduction ..............................................................................................................4 Background ..............................................................................................................5 Innovative Uses and Positive Impacts on Achievement ..........................................9 Innovative uses and Negative Impacts on Achievement .......................................16 Discussion ..............................................................................................................19 Conclusion .............................................................................................................22 CELL PHONES AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT 4

Introduction
Since Wood et al. (2012) report that in general, there is a consensus that existing and emerging digital technologies have the potential to expand the reach of current educational tools (p. 365), we can only assume that the use of cell phone technology and digital devices in general will continue to penetrate the education field. As in their study of increasing interactivity between the instructor and students, Milrad and Spikol (2007) reveal that students indirectly increase their language arts skills by compressing information not by simply using typical text messaging, but by revising and editing sentences to express ideas more effectively, providing support that the use of cell phone technology can have a positive influence on student achievement. However, Tilley and Bohlander (2012) discuss the use of the cell phone as a distraction and that “if students are spending time texting, they are not paying attention in class” (p. 2) then one can argue that cell phones are negatively impacting student learning. In this paper the term cell phone will refer to any portable digital device, such as a typical cell phone, iPod, iPhone, iPad, smart phone, and any mobile computing device that can connect wirelessly to networks and the Internet such as laptops, netbooks and tablet PCs, personal data assistant (PDA), in other words, wireless mobile devices (WDMs) (Franklin, 2011, Georgiev, Georgieva & Smrikarov, 2004). The reason for such a broad inclusion is to accommodate the use of web technologies such as Web 2.0 and the newer developing Web 3.0 tools, communications such as instant messaging (IM), texting, search...
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