Cell phones in schools

Welcome to the new blog.

I recently wrote a story about the possibility of cell phones being used in schools in the near future. The story appeared in Monday’s Daily Journal.

Essentially, as schools look for ways to add more technology during a time when funding is tight, they may consider utilizing technology that many students already own. iPads are another possibility. Both could allow students to do Internet research, and the tablets could easily display digital textbooks, which would also be cheaper and better updated.

The challenge for schools will be determining a framework to govern student cell phone use and prevent misuse. They would also need to have devices available for those who don’t own them, but that would be cheaper than buying them for the whole school.

Lee County Superintendent Jimmy Weeks said he also believes that as schools add more technology, they also need to consider teaching students how to things without the devices.

“I know a calculator is readily available, but what do you do if you don’t have a calculator and your cell phone battery is dead?” he said. “In case those things can’t be used, I learned how to do math without a calculator. Technology is great, but what happens when it isn’t available?”

Weeks went on to give an example of learning to ride a bike before he learned to drive. Otherwise, he said, what would happen if his truck ran out of gas? Maybe he’d have a bike in the back of the truck, but it would then be useless.

What do you think? It is clear that society is becoming more and more technological and schools seem to be headed that way too. There is more talk about preparing students for the world they will enter.

Is there a danger of becoming too dependent on technology? Or do you need to go all-in to keep from being left behind?