For one of my Education classes, I was required to write a research/opinion paper on a specific topic. I chose to do it on cellphone usage in schools, and since I received a solid mark on it, I figured I would share it here. If you would like a list of my references cited please let me know. I tried to include them, but WordPress formatted them strangely and I do not have the time at the moment to edit them properly.
Enjoy and feel free to comment.
In 1971 an author at the New York Times, C.P. Snow, remarked: “Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.” While the quote can be viewed as being a rather bleak observation, I feel there is a lot of wisdom within his words even forty years later. As technology in its various forms has advanced over that time, it has affected many facets of life including our education system. There have been both positive and negative consequences of technology integration in a school setting, though educators have had to face a challenge with regards to a particular piece of technology; the cell phone. Like many issues that arise in the classroom, there is no one answer on how to address the use of the cell phones in school, however, I wish to address both the positive and negative repercussions of this device.
In a general sense, cell phones have been very beneficial to many people on an everyday basis, and have practically become ubiquitous in our society. Statistics Canada reported in 2006 there were 16.8 million people who subscribed to a wireless communications provider, showing a strong year-after-year increase in the use of cellular devices. Considering the convenience owning a cell phone has, such as making phone calls practically anywhere, and having the ability to store contacts/important numbers directly in the phone, this is not that surprising. What is surprising are the advancements cellular phones have undergone in such a short period of time. Much like the limited capabilities of early computers, when cell phones were first introduced they were large, bulky, and easily susceptible to dropping calls mid-conversation. Today’s cell phones, on the other hand, are a far cry from what came before. With the introduction of “smart phones”, for example, users have access to the internet, text messaging, and an incredible amount of other applications. In addition to this, these types of phones can double as a personal media player, for music etc., and most cell phones come with a built in digital camera. While there is an obvious draw to owning a piece of technology that can rival some home computer systems, therein lies the challenge to educators; trying to deal with a device that does a lot more than just take calls. Read the rest of this entry