Today, I came across an article about the Indonesian school cell phone ban in 2008. I suspect that by now many schools (and maybe other countries) have similar bans. Sometimes, I wish I could ban iPhones and Blackberry’s from rooms that I’m in!
But cell phone usage in schools goes beyond annoying and distracting (although annoying and distracting was enough to get Tomagotchis banned from my middle school). My suspicion is that it heightens all of the worst parts of social life at school: bullying, pressure to fit in, cliques, affectation of personality, and other issues no longer turn off when a class begins.
My constant faith in technology, however, makes me wonder if there isn’t something positive that cell phones can bring to the classroom. They obviously have extreme potential as tools for communication. Is there a way that educators can harness this potential?