Do you think students should be allowed to have cell phones with them while they are in school?  I have done observations in schools where they are allowed to have them with them during the day and schools where they are not.  What do you think?

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I do not think that cell phones should be allowed in school. They are just distractions to the students. I have observed in an elementary school where the teacher had to take a phone away from a 2nd grader! I think it’s ridiculous that a 2nd grader would even have a cell phone.  Now of days with all these smart phones t hat are out there students can be playing games or facebooking. They are just distractions in my opinion and there isn’t a place for them in schools.

I went to school at a time when there were no cell phones.  Pagers were used by doctors and judges and we were "un-' conected" for our time in school.  Parents worked and life was just as dangerous as it is today, maybe even more.  There's very few reasons why kids need to be in touch at all time.  Their focus should be in school not on the world wide web.
I believe that students should be allowed to have them out before and after school. I also think that cell phones would be okay during lunch and  in hallways during passing periods while getting to their next class. I do not think that cell phones should be allowed during classroom instruction time. If the cell phones become a problem in class then the teacher should be allowed to take up the phone and the student can pick up the phone after school.
I would have to disagree with your statement "I also think that cell phones would be okay during lunch and  in hallways during passing periods while getting to their next class", because of the simple reason that this will just lead to the usage of cell phones in the classroom. If students know that yes they can have them before and after school but have to keep them in their backpacks at all times until after school. Even maybe if it is the younger children that are in elementary schools maybe the teacher can have a locked cabinet that the students with cell phones can keep them in. I know with this there could be major liability issues but if the teacher or school is smart and sends home a letter the first day of school saying something under the lines of "students may have cellphones before or after school but must be kept in the backpack/ cabinet during school hours. please note that we are not liable for them but if you find it necessary for your students to carry one please understand how we will be handling this as school."  I think its just making small accommodations and strict restrictions that can eliminate the problems that cell phones have in schools.
I think that cell phones in schools are most definitely appropriate. Although I think that cell phones should not be actually on the student during actual school hours but should be allowed before and after, just for the simple fact of security reasons.  Its also just the way that society is now a days. Its more socially acceptable that students have all these high technology items when a few years back it was rear to even find an adult that had a cell phone.

I think if they are going to be allowed, a very strong set of policies needs to be in place for their use.  There also has to be a good deal of professional development for teachers in how to manage students with devices.  There is a strong learning potential associated with the devices--they can help students manage their time and workload like PDA's, they can be used as tools to help students collaborate on projects, they can be used to access the internet for research, they can function as student-response devices, and much more--all without costing the school what it would otherwise cost for a 1:1 computer initiative or sets of clickers for every classroom.  But this all relies on the students being truly taught how to use them as productive devices, and for the school to set the standard that this is all they are to be used for in school.


We also must keep in mind that in many, many schools, the students are bringing them anyway, no matter what the policy says.  And if they don't text out in the open during class, they're probably doing it in their pockets.  A tip from a teacher I know who does allow phones in class--have a "cell phone zone" on the top corner of the student's desk.  Students need to place all their devices there at the beginning of class, face down.  If and when the time is appropriate for the student to use the device for learning, only then should it move off its "parking space."  It makes it significantly easier for the teacher to monitor their use if they're out in the open rather than on laps or in pockets or bags.


I agree that phones are a part of our world that cannot be ignored or banned.  I think that students should be allowed to access them for personal use only before and after school. School polices and teacher development in this area is imperative.  We must teach our children when it is appropriate to use their communication devices.   Sherry Turkle's book, Alone Together, discusses the idea that our society has a habit of checking out of live conversation to access digital communication and how that is affecting our for thought.

I feel as though cell phones should not be allowed in schools. My reasoning is mainly because students have already linked cell phones as a tool for leisure and socialization; therefore, it will be difficult to get them to dissociate the tool to be used as intended. And because there are so many types of cell phones, it may difficult for the teacher to provide instructions and/or demonstrations on how they are to be used. Plus, there are several other tools and software that can perform the same (if not more) than the cellular devices.
Cell phones are a part of life and an important tool of communication.  I know that students use their cell phones for many other things other than calling their mom and dad during school but I think it is unrealistic to consider not allowing cell phones at school.  They are distracting but teachers do have the option to take them away.  The thing that bothers me the most is when I see teachers using cell phones during school hours to answer text messages and make personal phone calls.
Wow Lauren, a lot of discussion here. In my opinion, cell phones have a purpose and it is NOT in the classroom.  There are countless other forms of technology (numerous examples given is forums on this web site) suitable for the classroom and cell phones are not one of them.  Whatever the intended purpose of a lesson might be, I am sure that it can be accomplished without cell phone usage.  I come from an environment where typing class was waged on maual typewriters not electric and the Commodore 64 was the newest thing on the computer gaming scene.  So for me, technology is a welcome sight and I enjoy learning it very much; however, it all has its time and place.  Leave the cell in the locker, your pocket, napsack or purse.  Use it at lunch or between periods if you must, but not in my presence or in my class.  Why is it that so many of our students and parents for that matter need instantaneous responses to whatever they deem important?  Another question for this discussion group might be:  since so many students use IM speak on their text messages, facebook, etc, should it be allowed in the assignments they hand in in class?  Food for thought.



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