I have been a long time advocate of incorporating cell phones into the schools. Cell phones are one of the many tools that will be essential to our children’s success as adults. Cell phones are still in their infancy. In the not too distance future, cell phones will begin to replace credit cards as a means of purchasing products. Two way video conferencing through cell phones is already here and it will be the norm by the time today’s middle schoolers graduate high school. Cell phones interact with the Internet to enhance communication and provide faster research. I can get more detailed information through my phone and the Internet faster than I can using 411 information services. I can see pictures and video from my cell phone to the Internet which a student could use as part of an interview or research project. The possibilities are endless. Effective use of the multimedia (sound, video, text, animation), and productivity tools built into their cell phones will help make our students successful as professional adults.
I advocate teaching cell phone usage in the schools rather than branding them as contraband. I am not alone.
Craik School in Saskatchewan Canada is exploring the use of cellphones as learning tools. This video highlights the work of Carla Dolman and Gord Taylor and the grade 8 and 9 students of Craik School. [Source, Youtube]
- Engagement. …the cellphone novelty will soon pass, the engagement was with the ideas and sharing. Students … simply used them to share ideas, pictures, sounds and videos. …
- Responsibility. Clearly posted on the wall were a set of guidelines developed by the students and their teacher on how to use this tool wisely. Discussions of etiquette, manners, privacy and safety led them to their common understandings. …
- Innovation and Problem Solving. Students discovered their phones were also organizers, voice recorders, and multimedia creators. They discovered bluetooth was a great way to share files, they created concise summaries of their group discussions using voice memos or videos.
- Teacher as a Learner. Carla says she still canâ€™t "T9" like her students, but sheâ€™s learning. … She texts her students in the morning to remind them of homework and they actually respond. That in itself is one positive outcome already.
Please see the Ideas and Thoughts full post. I like the note that the teacher was able to text reminders to the students. Just imagine if students learned to Sandy to remind them of deadlines. What if a teacher could prompt the students to "take out your cell phones and enter these dates" or if the teacher could deliver the deadlines via xml, sms, or direct interaction with Sandy!
The schools need to teach the technology that is coming not the technology that is bygone.
Update: New York doesn’t get it.
Update 23 Apr 2008: Another good video.