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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Northeast Ohio schools welcome electronic devices to promote learning | Ellen Kleinerman,

This is a new view, for me, on student use of smart phones in school. My wife, who teaches English to international students (from Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere) has talked with me about students focusing their attention on their smart phones (for non-school work). And that use distracts them from what's happening in the classroom. 

But Kleinerman reports that in this Ohio school district, classroom use of cellphones and other electronics devices by students and teachers is becoming more and more widespread:
From pop quizzes through text-messaging to lab results loaded onto electronic tablets to looking up information on smart phones, teachers are finding ways to engage students with the latest devices.
Says school district Superintendent Robert Scott:
Technology is part of kids' lives. It's here to stay. Students are allowed to use their wireless devises anywhere in the building. Cellphones, smart phones, iPods, iPads are all considered a resource and are used at a teacher's discretion.
The rest of the article quotes teachers and students on how technology is used in classroom lessons--and how it aids learning. 

To guard against abuse, Kleinerman writes:
[S]tudents and their parents have to sign a digital driver's license before accessing the school's wireless system. The district has the ability to track when individual students sign onto the system. Firewalls are also in place to block access to inappropriate sites.
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