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The Great Prohibition: Using Cell Phones Outside the Ban

Browse recordings: livestream.com/educon14

Session Three: Saturday 3:00pm–4:30pm
Room 313
Lisa Nielsen, George Engel
Affiliation: The Innovative Educator Blog, Blogs.cellularlearning.org
Conversational Focus/Audience:
High School, Middle School
Conversation Description:

94% of Americans under age 45 have access to a personal learning device that could enrich the way teachers teach and students learn. Some schools are embracing this and beginning to use cell phones in the classroom as a student-centered learning tool. However, like the New York City Department of Education, many districts have banned cell phones from not just the class room but the school buildings as well, citing safety concerns and appropriate use concerns. By banning cell phones, schools are seeking to protect students from drug sales, cyber bullying, sexting, as well as other issues. However, banning cell phones from school grounds does not necessarily curb these activities and in several cases actually has increased the need and expense for student discipline enforcement.

While some have interpreted such bans to mean they are prohibited from harnessing the power of these devices for learning, innovative educators know how to think outside the ban and embrace cell phones as powerful partners to student success. Despite mandates from administrators or policymakers, more and more educators are having students perform learning activities outside the classroom resulting in engaging in-school activities and discussions.

Participants who join this session will discover free and easy mobile learning activities that students can engage in outside of the classroom:

(1) Use cell phones for collaborative discussion and reflection
(2) Create and publish podcasts/audiocasts
(3) Use photo sharing sites to develop and present work
(4) Strengthening the home-school connection with Twitter

Conversational Practice:
Participants will [list] [*]Understand the issues surrounding school bans and how to appropriately use mobile technology in those situations. [*]Discover free and easy mobile learning activities that will engage students outside of the classroom. [*]Collaboratively design mobile learning activities that can be used even in schools where cell phones are banned. [*]Share these activities with the group. [*]Post the work on a wiki page for future discussion. [\list]


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