Cell Phone Use in the Classroom

I know the tendency in classrooms had been to ban the use off ceel phones when they first arrived on the scene but I think that was a knee jerk reaction from an administration system fearful of change.  Excessive use or use at inappropriate times should still be monitored and limited.  However, in the information age, phones can be used to reference an unlimited amount of information and could be used as a very powerful tool.  It was Albert Einstein that said “Never memorize what you can look up in a book” and I think this quote is more relevent today than when he first said it.  I can only assume that the idea behind his logic is to free up mental capacity for higher order thinking, at least that is the value I see in it.

The fact of the matter is we do not have to remember things in detail.  Professionals of all varieties referenced information regularily even before the advent of the internet and mobile phones.  As an electrican we reference the Canadian Electrical Code constantly to ensure installations meet standards for example.  Engineers reference obscure formulas and properties of substances and doctors often now have computers in their examination rooms and use them to assist with diagnosis.  No one can remember the mass of knowledge available in their profession and I think we should instead focus on the key take away points that assist with general understanding.

Another benefit of incorporating the use of cell phones in the class is to teach students to discern between opinion, theory and fact so they can sift their way through the missinformation and get to the heart of issues. That is a life skill that is becoming more important by the day.  I am not advocating for the constant use by any stretch but I think we need to accept that they are here and learn to use them effectively with reasonable limitation.  That is my 2 cents for what it’s worth 😉

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