Why I Allow Cell Phones in my Classes (Summary)
This is a summary of a longer post about why I allow cell phones in my classes. That post contains extensive references to research, supporting information, and many more details. And that post, unlike this summary, also has comments enabled. So if you want to weigh in — and I hope you will! — that’s the place to do it.
My basic point is fourfold:
Most of the perceived drawbacks of cell phones are based on misunderstandings or partial understandings. Cell phones are not generally distracting for the children who use them — certainly adults tend to be more distracted by multitasking than children — and the phones may even make it easier for children to concentrate on class.
Second, letting children use their cell phones in class demonstrates an appreciation of who they are. They feel validated. They feel accepted. And this creates a better learning environment.
Third, cell phones augment the social experience of being in class. We don’t usually isolate children on purpose, but keeping them away from their phones is a kind of isolation.
Finally, cell phones are fun. Why wouldn’t we welcome this sort of enjoyment in class?
At any rate, I have more in the complete post, and I’d love feedback.