When I hear about cell phones in school I mostly hear how they are a distraction, they can be used to cheat, or how they should not be banned because they might be needed in a life threatening situation like a school hostage situation. In the last 24 hours the tune has been a different from the folks I follow on Twitter. I heard that Darren Draper was going to respond to an effort to ban cell phones in Utah. Darren wrote a blog post that is compelling and instructive about the educational opportunities that cell phones offer. The post points out that banning learning devices because most teachers have not harnessed their power is short-sighted. In conclusion Draper implores the policy makers to leave the decision about use of cell phones up to the teacher.
Also from Twitter I was pointed to this story of a young woman in Japan who wrote a novel in installments on her cell phone. The novel was available in installments through an online site for download to cell phone. More recently the 142 page book was published and has sold 420,000 copies.
How do you think states and schools should deal with cell phones? What do you believe the opportunities are for students with cell phones in the classroom? Do your students use cell phones to access information or only to communicate?
Below are some link suggested by Darren Draper for more information on how to use the cell phone in your classroom.
Liz Kolb's Cell Phones As Learning Tools
Tony Vincent's Mobile Web on learninginhand
Marc Prensky's What Can You Learn From A Cell Phone? - Almost Anything!
Jeff VanDrimmelen's 8 Ways to use Camera Phones in Education
Ellen D. Wagner's Enabling Mobile Learning