Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I am tired of fighting with students about their use of cell phones during school hours. I used to feel slighted or offended when a student would pull out his or her cell during class, but then I started to look at my own habits as a graduate student.
Even during the most engaging discussions, I have my laptop open with my email and social networking sites up and running. I keep my cell phone next to me on vibrate. I have conducted several conversations via email or on a sort of IM platform with students and parents, all while listening and adding to the work going on around me. And, I am not alone when I do this. Does this make me a bad or disrespectful student? Does the quality of my work suffer? I feel like I am more focused because I am not wondering what's happening in all of the other arenas of my life. I am able to finish conversations and work that are abandoned when I leave school and head to the university. I feel like I am more content and focused because I am able to take care of my needs and participate in class.
I'm beginning to feel like we need to see cell phones as the tools that they are and use students' interest and adeptness with them to further engage them in our lessons. I am looking for ways add them into my teaching.
The article "Cell Phones Used to Deliver Course Content" provides some ideas about what's being done with cell phones at the college level.