Censoring Cell Phones in School or Using them for Learning?
Students Love Learning with Cell Phones
Guidelines for Schools
According to the American National Council of Teachers of English (NCET), non-print and mulimedia should not be censored by the schools because students have a right to know (2004). NCET lists the challenges and provides guidelines for schools so that they can allow non-print and multmedia material into the school.
Cell Phones in an English Class
I’m an English teacher to students of other languages which means that non-native speakers of English practice language skills in and out of the classroom. I just facilitate guide the process. I use cell phones in all of my face-to-face classes. Students work in teams and search for information for project and on collaborative team tests so that even those who forget their cell phones or need to recharge me can benefit from the tasks. But don’t get me wrong, allowing mobile devices does not mean chaos in the classroom. I use discipline just as my teachers did back in the 60’s and 70s. With a class of 36 (as shown in the pictures), I make sure each student feels safe and is able to focus on the task according to his or her individual needs. Ear phones are a great way to keep the noise out. I also use ear phones when the class gets too loud as the students work in team. Yet, with all the discipline that I enforce, my students are happy because they have the freedom to learn.
The Freedom to Learn
Students in most parts of the world share a common passion for learning and for using their cell phones so why not combine the two. Why not use the devices for learning? The renowned humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers (1902-1987), wrote “Freedom to Learn” with Jerome Freiberg is an experiential learner/teacher/researcher whose ideas on classroom management are based on his experiences in teaching public and prison. London Behaviour Summit 2009 – Keynote presentation by Jerome Freiberg
Teachers Learn & Learners Teach
Sam Chaltain “a DC-‐based writer, educator and organizational change consultant … works with schools, school districts, and public and private sector companies to help them create healthy, high-‐functioning learning environments” (Youtube), but Sam is saying what many of us realize realize, but forget. We need people like Sam to remind us to stay away from what seems to be the default state of education and public schooling around the globe. Listen to evangelists and read books, articles, and blog posts. One of my favorite books is Turning Learning Right Side UP by Russell Ackoff and Daniel Greenberg. Education should focus on learning not on teaching unless the student is doing the teaching for the purpose of learning. Listen to a lecture on turning learning right side up so that learning is the focus of education and not teaching. The lecture is provided by Knowledge@Wharton Network and not teaching as is commonly done in schools.
Discuss learning with your colleagues and friends in an international learning environment. Join the upcoming course and webinars on active learning through Teaching Online: Facilitating Online Learning so you can be reminded of what you already know about the gift learning and sharing information.