Tag Archives: cell phone

Use cell phones to expand the walls of your classroom

Lessons are typically conducted in classrooms.  Some teachers take their learners on field trips or find other innovative ways of teaching outside of the classroom, but this happens only on occasion.  In most cases it is not practical to have a lesson outside the classroom.  The downside of a lesson constrained by the four walls of the classroom is that when the learners leave the room, the lesson is over.

Cell phones can be used to let the lesson continue outside of the classroom.  Activities and content can be given for leaners to engage with after they leave the classroom.  This means that the classroom is now expanded to the homes of learners, or even to the transport that the learners will use travelling between their homes and school.  When learners cannot be taken on field trips, or when they need be educated about other parts of the globe, a cell phone can be used to give them a glimpse into those aspects.

When learners cannot come to school owing to sickness, or when civil unrest prevents them from moving around freely, we can use their cell phones to put the classroom in their homes.

Using cell phones outside of the classroom can enhance any lesson, but it would be particularly useful when a school has a strict no cell phone policy, or where the use of cell phones is prohibited in the classroom.  Despite the restrictions, teachers can still expand the walls of their classroom by letting the learners use their devices for learning outside of the classroom.

Technology disruption in the classroom

When we put technology in the hands of students, teachers fear the many possible ways in which this could disrupt their lessons. Winston Churchill said: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.” This is so true in general, and it also applies to the worry that technology will disrupt learning in the classroom.   However, one must think about the positive possibilities and then see how we can handle disruptions when they happen.

An immediate solution that presents itself is to have a no-device policy in schools.  Cell phones are banned, as well as other electronic devices, except maybe calculators.  But is that the best way to go about things?   In the past students were distracted by writing notes or letters and sending them along in the class.  Did teachers react by banning paper?  Of course not!  They found other ways to handle the situation.  The same should be true of technology.