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Dealing with Cellphones in our Classrooms

This is an issue all teachers and administrative have to deal with these days. By one side is the students that argue they really need to be in touch with the outside world while they're in class and by the other, the teachers that think they are being violated in their privacy. Nobody is unaware of the bullying among students and of course the mocked teachers what what we have here is a new generation of grow ups and teen who had been born in techie environment. Most of schools are banning the use of cell phone while in its grounds, some other have strict rules for such devices.

The problem is some of our students are tapping teachers activities for very short period of time which creates a (distortioned) image of the classroom teacher. Let's look at the experiment conducted by Kevin Metcalf who happens to be teaching at North Rockland High School in Thiells, N.Y. He tries an experiment with his students. He asks them to whip out their cellphones —whose use is otherwise forbidden in the classroom under school rules— while he puts his head down on his desk for a second and acts as though he’s doing nothing. He then asks them that if they were to take a picture and put it on YouTube, what would people think of his teaching?

He'd got answers like ‘lazy,’ and ‘doesn’t care.’ He tries to explain his students he would be judged by their peers on one second of a 45-minute class. The experiment, he says, brings home to the students how such an action could misrepresent the truth and have serious consequences for someone. And this is not a threatening situation. Imagine how distorted might become an issue inside the classroom if an student just tapes seconds of a disruptive class?

Now, I am not against use of technology because we already are way ahead of the counterculture of the 6O's where the youngsters were thinking the computers were about to replace men. I am part and I am living the cyberculture generation (G-gen) and of course we have to learn and teach how to use technology in classrooms, we've moved beyond projectors and VHS. Now we have very small and reliable devices to register any kind of information. We do have to allow our kids to use their cell phones but we have to teach them no how to operate them because they might the teachers in that particular situation but, show them the consequences of not using it properly. How their very own safety is involved, their families, their loved ones and even their friends.

Once they learn the consequences it will be up to them. We all know (they too) the consequences of violating safety regulation, the secrecy of our personal acts and the power involved in having a device emitting short waves to highest frequencies. Unfortunately, according to Vaishali Honawar and his post Cellphones in Classrooms Land Teachers on Online Video Sites points to two cases in Court: Evens v. L.A. Unified School District; and, Roberts v. Houston Independent School District.

From those two cases we can conclude that only whether students refer to threatening comments, a Judge will pay attention to a teacher's complain. Legislation vary according to each state but the variety of issues with cellphones in schools, the United States, legal experts say, school districts tend to ignore videos that are simply embarrassing to a teacher, but do act when they find that the taping is a threat to the school or teacher or is disruptive to learning. The court holds that a teacher must always expect public dissemination of his or her classroom
communications and activities.

A have a kid in 5th grade and he's not using a cellphone yet but I am about to give him one for Christmas and he knows how to use the lap top and links perfectly with YouTube. My question is: Will a fellow teacher feel ashamed if my kid shoots a photo and posts it on YouTube, modified or unmodified? It will be hard for the school to show disruption just because of it. We are talking about First Amendment speech here.

For more contributions read: [http://education.ning.com] or [http://dww.ed.gov]

LATER: How digital kids test teachers and why they have got to find a way to incorporate the cell phones into the educational system.

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  1. Hello Dear!!I find that this post is very interesting!Thanks for share with us!!Have a nice weekend and Regards From Croatia