Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cell Phones in the Classroom

Ever since Hall Davidson's keynote at NECC I have been thinking about the use of cell phones in the classroom more and more.  Yes, I had thought about how they might be used, but he really got me thinking.  Then just like every start of the school year the paperwork began to flow into my home for me to sign.  I was astounded at the policy of my son's school district!

Here is the policy of  Blount County Schools.  I am sure it is not much different than most school districts around the US, but when are they going to a little more forward thinking?  Those of us who use technology and integrate Web 2.0 practices are in the minority, but I hope that we are gaining new people to our community each and every day.  How long is it going to be before schools start to embrace this technology instead of trying to fight the "losing battle" (although that is not what I consider it).  

What I am most astounded by is the policy that Blount County Schools have regarding the confiscation of personal communication devices as defined by the Board of Education.  They are as follows:

First Offense-parent must pick up device after school-parent and student must sign policy acknowledgment.

Second Offense-device is confiscated for two weeks and parent must pick up-student and parent must sign policy acknowledgment.

Third Offense-device is confiscated and student will receive a three day suspension.  The student will be required to make up academic work missed during the three day period.  In the event the student fails to make up the work the battery will be removed.  The parent may pick up the battery and device at the end of the semester. 

Why does the school have the power to do this?  Are they that scared of what the students will do with their "evil" devices? 

When I put out the question with my PLN I was astounded at the responses that I received.  Apparently this is on a lot of our mind now.  Check out what we had to say here.

What are your thoughts on this issue?    

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