14 September 2007

The Classroom Mobile

Few things draw faster, angrier responses from American teachers than when I suggest that classrooms should actively include mobile phones. I couldn't possibly get more opposition if I suggested pornography or kick boxing.

"They'll cheat!" "They'll get stolen!" "They'll take nasty pictures!" "They'll be texting their friends all day!" And on and on... sort of, as if, before mobile phones students were not cheating, passing notes, stealing things, making nasty pictures...

But to me, and many others, the contemporary mobile is the invention we've been waiting for since Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy described the "indispensible guide" - that pocket-size electronic book/web browser. If you can put the world's greatest library and the fastest, most complete communication tool into a student's hands - why wouldn't you? If you cannot figure out how to leverage these capabilities - should you really be teaching 21st Century students.

This video from TeachersTV raises many of the questions and concerns, and displays a bit of the potential. It is well worth a half-hour of your time.

- Ira Socol

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