- Positive Integration of Cell Phones in the Classroom
Cell phones allow students to have: access to a calculator, documentation through a camera, as well as access to the internet. With the advances in smartphones, phones are often able to act as a personal computer that can be taken beyond the classroom provided that students have access to the same resources or tools at school as if they were at home (ensures transferability of work from school and home, barring internet connection). Phones are an equalizer in education access and a portal to the internet, Thomas and O’Bannon mention that as many as 80% will have access to mobile devices by 2015, and two-thirds of high school students will have access (2013). Situations, where a set of computers are required, can call for advanced planning and set up for teachers to enable their students to access the internet. Rather than deal with cell phone use, some schools have outright banned them. Phones are an extremely powerful tool as they can act as a vehicle for content creation, assessment, and reflection, camera features for documentation of projects, (Thomas, et al. 2013). Phones can act in the same way as computers do, but with added flexibility. Access to cellphones in the classroom can provide opportunities for cooperative problem solving, research, and general collaboration. Phones have built-in mathematical tools to perform calculations which can reduce the burden on many students to buy a calculator (graphing or simple). Students could learn through a video or audio which would not be readily available otherwise, the second source of learning has been found especially useful in a class like dance (Li, Zhou, Teo 2018). Having access to phones allows for the submission of surveys quickly and anonymously.
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