Smart Phones? Smarter Classrooms?
Concurrent Session 3
A great debate brews: Should teachers allow smartphones in the classroom or not? Do smartphones distract from lessons or can they be incorporated into the curriculum to serve as tools supporting learning? Presenters and attendees will debate the use of smartphones in the classroom, discuss policies and solutions. Join us!
A great debate brews: Should teachers allow smartphones in the classroom or not? Do smartphones distract from lessons or can they be incorporated into the curriculum to serve as tools supporting learning? Presenters and attendees will debate the use of smartphones in the classroom, discuss policies and solutions.
Our editorial board targeted this topic after one member read and shared Burkholder’s (2017) article about cell phone usage in the classroom. Smartphones are ubiquitous. Barnwell (2016) notes that it is rare for a student to come to class without a smartphone (para. 4). Some students manage to complete an entire online course using their phones for access. As teacher educators, we pondered what we should tell our teacher education candidates about the use of smartphones in the classroom. Should we model it? Should we have students check in their phones as they enter the classroom? Should we have days where smartphones are forbidden? Should we integrate smartphones into the curriculum? Should we include a smartphone policy in the syllabus?
We began to collect articles and actual classroom events about smartphone usage in the classroom from our own experiences. We curated a website with links to our research, which we will share with attendees and ask them to contribute to the site.
The objectives for the presentation are:
Participants will be able to identify key issues in the use of smartphones in the classroom.
Participants will actively engage in small group discussions/debates about the use the smartphones in the classroom.
Participants will receive a link to a curated MERLOT website containing articles and resources regarding smartphones in the classroom and a chart of best practices that the presenters have compiled.
The structure of the session would include:
15 minutes of sharing information that we have developed on the topic of smartphones in the classroom
25 minutes of small group debates/discussions with both in-person and virtual groups (Virtual discussion leaders will use online meeting software to facilitate small groups for virtual attendees.)
5 minutes of closure to recap the group discussions
The presentation will include positive ways to use smartphones in the classroom; the drawbacks of smartphone usage, taken from our experiences and the online articles we have curated; a few “ugly” stories about our own experiences with smartphones in the classroom; and some best practices we have discovered. The second half of the session will be small discussion groups debating smartphone usage, sharing stories, and compiling ideas to be posted on our website.
Barnwell, P. (2016, April 27). Do smartphones have a place in the classroom? The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/04/do-smartphones-have-a-place-in-the-classroom/480231/
Burkholder, P. (2017, September 11). Helping students make the right call on cell phones. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from rhttps://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-classroom-management/helping-students-make-right-call-cell-phones/