Love this post! This is how I envision teaching can be but as of yet have not seen this in practice in any of my pre-service teaching experiences.
At the three High Schools that I have visited in the past two years mobile phones (cell-phones) have been BANNED in the classroom. School Administrations and teachers had decided that mobile phones are distracting and have the potential for in-class cyberbullying and therefore had a NO-tolerance policy. In all 3 schools students were advised to either a) hand in your mobile at the Student Services counter at the beginning of the day and get it back at the end of classes or b) keep your mobile on you but if a teacher catches you using it in class they should tell you to stop using it and take it to the office. This is a HUGE barrier for allowing students to use their mobiles in the classroom; I will have to overcome this massive obstacle first before I will get to successfully practice this type of teaching.
The advantages of having students use their mobile phones in the classroom:
- majority of high school students have a mobile phone that allows surfing the web, taking photos and videos. So if I want students to take photos of experiments, create new posts in their class blogs, create video for blogs or creative activities or just find some fact quickly, then students could do this quickly via their phones whether we are in the classroom, outside on the school oval or out on an excursion.
- as mentioned in the blog students are also very comfortable with using their mobiles and so why not use this tool in the classroom since it’s something they use all the time outside of the classroom anyway = authentic learning
- the use of personal mobiles does mean that the school can’t CONTROL what students access or what they write during class time. This is where an introductory lesson on netiquette etc. would be beneficial. Reminding students about online privacy issues and the effects of cyberbullying would all be topics that could be discussed. These types of teaching moments will help students generally learn the appropriate ways to communicate online, whether it is during class or not.
Mobile (cell) phone use in the classroom is a great idea; I’m all for it!