Cell Phones: an Educational Tool

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Cell Phones: A Tool in the Classroom In today’s society, smart phones are a part of a student’s average, everyday life. No matter what people are doing, they find time to look at their phone and make a call, read a text, check e-mails, or search something on Google. Even though people find so many uses for them throughout the day, they are a controversial subject to talk about in their use in the classroom. Many schools have policies strictly prohibiting the use of smart phones in school. For schools to ban the use of smart phones is a major mistake. They only look at cell phones as a distraction to students, and don’t understand that this generation is dependent on the technologies of today. What educators need to do is ask themselves how they can incorporate the technology of today in the class room so they can see what positive effects smart phones have on education. The most effective use of smart phones is also one of the most basic: internet access. The internet is inarguably the biggest source of information that exists, and we have access to it right in the palm of our hand. The internet allows us to access information through online databases, encyclopedias, textbooks, books, and more. George Engel and Tim Green write the following: “An important 21st century skill students should have is the ability to use available resources to locate information. One goal of a 21st century classroom is to transform students from passive to active learners. A step toward achieving this goal is to have students become researchers (Prensky, 2010). As researchers, students need to be able to access information. Internet access is critical to this skill. Therefore, when computers are not available, students can use cell phones to gather information via web searches, social networks, or other resources (Rodgers, Runyon, Starren, & Holzen, 2006). This kind of activity trains students to use a resource that most possess to acquire information when and where they need it.”


Cited: "Education must catch up with our changing world." St. Petersburg Times [St. Petersburg, FL] 27 Feb. 2007: 12A. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. Engel, George, and Tim Green. "Cell Phones in the Classroom: Are We Dialing up Disaster?." TechTrends. March 2011: 39-45. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 23 Apr 2012. "Hard-wired for wireless: Schools adjusting to cell phones, iPods." New Haven Register [New Haven, CT] 17 Jan. 2010. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. "School board to discuss ending cell phone ban." Leader-Telegram [Eau Claire, WI] 17 Apr. 2011. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. Toppo, Greg. "Making students literate in digital age." USA Today 25 July 2011: 02A. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. Tyrrell, Joie. "From Textbooks to Texting." Newsday. 17 Oct 2011: A.4. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 23 Apr 2012.

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