Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What is your classroom "rules" list for integrating cell phones in the classroom?

I think for many teachers one of the biggest concerns about including cell phones in classroom learning activities is that they will be used inappropriately. Teachers do not want to be responsible for harmful mobile behavior. Yet, by ignoring cell phone etiquette, we are not doing the students any favors. We could teach appropriate cell phone etiquette, while showing students how to use cell phones as learning tools. I would like to brainstorm some "rules" for including cell phones inside of the school classroom.

Here are my top 5 (although I reserve the right to change them as I hear better ideas).
1) Cell phones need to be on vibrate
2) Cell phones need to be in the front of the room (drop bag) until it is time to use them
3) Cell phones can only be used in class for academic/learning purposes
4) Any activity conducted on cell phones in class cannot be published without permission of teacher and/or students who are involved in the text/image/video/audio file (e.g. no publishing a photo of a class project on MySpace page without permissions).
5) Students will use appropriate cell phone etiquette by respecting the privacy of other's phone numbers and using appropriate language with their mobile communication.

What are your top 5 rules? Or what would your top 5 rules be?

5 comments:

Joe said...

I think I would use the same rules with a slight adjustment to #2. I'd prefer they be out on their desks where I can see them. Or in the basket at the center of the table. I would imagine the drop bag logistics might be a bit of a headache. I would probably also add that any violation of the above rule would result in the loss of the cell phone until mom and dad can come can pick it up.

Liz Kolb said...

Joe
Good point on #2. I also like the defined "consequences" for not following the rules. I think another consequence could be that all cell phone activities will cease for that particular class "period" of students, until they can prove they deserve the privilege again.

Matt Stenson said...

taking away the privilege of the cellphone? If you are using the cellphone for educational activities wouldn't that kind of be like taking away a students pens if they misuse them?

David Truss said...

I wrote a short post a while back asking, 'is the tool an obstacle or an opportunity'? http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/miss-management/ (see the cartoon)
and followed up with a presentation on POD's (Personally Owned Devices) that are brought into our schools every day!
http://www.slideshare.net/datruss/the-pods-are-coming
To be blunt, I'm really not a fan of Liz's idea that for infractions:
"...all cell phone activities will cease for that particular class "period" of students, until they can prove they deserve the privilege again."
I'm not sure of too many instances where punishing the whole group for a single person is beneficial. Would you take away everyone else's pencil if one person misused a pencil?
That said, cell phones can be a huge distraction from school work and I think rules and expectations need to be clear, and succinct... I really like rule #5. Students will use appropriate cell phone etiquette by respecting the privacy of other's phone numbers and using appropriate language with their mobile communication.
It states the positive- what the student should do- rather than just what not to do.
Well done.

Jenny said...

As most phones now have flight mode, my rule is that it is in flight mode. You can see an aeroplane icon on the screen.

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