I remember in high school, cell phones were starting to be popular. Back then, people primarily had flip phones and I recall when the first iPhone was released. One of my teachers was so proud to show his off to us. As more students came to school with phones, our administration decided they needed to act. Their way of acting was to place a ban on cell phones in school – classroom, hallway, it didn’t matter. Eventually, they realized that wasn’t going to work when students would continue to use phones around the school, going so far to sneak them in class. I will admit I am guilty of this. Their next act was to work with student government and a committee (of which I was a part) to figure out what would work best for all students. Together the idea of a ‘cell phone zone’ was born. It seemed to work better than the ban, but of course, students would still try and text in class.
Technology has continued to grow and evolve. Now, students have additional technology instead of just phones they are bringing to school – tablets, cell phones, laptops, etc. It has become evident to me that we need policies in place that allow students to use these devices responsibly rather than banning their use in the classroom when I use my technology in the classroom and I know other teachers who do the same. Schools are spending more and more of budgets on keeping technology up to date in the classroom when students are already bringing these devices to school.
Regardless of if students are using their devices in the classroom in a formal program, I believe their should be a bring your own device policy for students to know what the school does or does not allow for their devices. Schools should develop policies that help foster students’ learning and helps them become responsible members of the technological community.