Personal Devices in Schools?

According to an article in 2012 by Mind Shift, there is increasing tension between schools allowing teens to bring their personal devices to school. Schools fearful of distractions and costly liabilities in schools, have made plenty of policies to discourage use in class. Students on the other hand, want to be prepared for the future, and want to incorporate their phones as part of the curriculum. Lets break it down farther:

Students:

  • smart phones and mobile devices increase social connectivity and collaboration
  • Most people have access to mobile devices
  • We bring them to school anyway
  • Real world applications for communication and learning
  • It’s fun…duh
  • So I can text my friends during class
  • So I can Facebook during class
  • So I can take pictures of tests….duh
  • Lyke, donchu gettit?
  • I need to race to class so I can get the seat by an outlet to charge my phone!

Schools:

  • Not everyone has equal access to devices
  • Our school may not support Wi Fi connections
  • We cannot monitor the devices
  • Are we responsible if you lose it at school?
  • They could be academic, but what about all those distractions?
  • Wouldn’t you just Facebook all through class?
  • Wouldn’t you just check your Instagram feed all through class?
  • What would a hallway look like if everyone were staring at a screen?
  • How do we know if you are actually doing work?

While this article was published in 2012, even then schools were reporting a massive surge in the access to mobile devices. Mainly Ipads and Smartphones, now in 2014, there should be even more students with devices. The solutions are not obvious, but perhaps the questions from both sides will help start a conversation that leads to one. 

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