This past week’s module had excellent timing. Lately my students have been driving me insane with their absolute inability to put away their phones during class. At my school, the Great Cell Phone Policy Debate has been left in the hands of the teachers (as I personally think it should be). As a math teacher, I know that my students will be using their cell phones as calculators at home when they work on their homework – I use my cell phone as a calculator all the time! – so what’s wrong with having them use it in class? I also love using internet-based quizzes (like Kahoot and Quizizz), and while I am fortunate enough to have enough Chromebooks for my students to use, if they have a phone, why not use it as the tool it is?
This Debate, as I’m sure most people are aware, is a hot topic in education. Many people do not agree with me, citing reasons such as those in the video below. (Note how they provide no cited references for their claims or statistics, however.)
So when this module discussed how mobile devices can be used as tools, I loved the ideas. People are already using their phones. Why not use their phones to connect to them?? I kept thinking, “How can a school library effectively and efficiently enhance a student’s learning experience through their mobile device?” I came away with a few ideas and a lot of think about.
One idea that is solidified in my mind after this week is that the school library website needs to be mobile friendly. Although I know very little about website design, I’ll have to find someone who does or get to learning, because I completely understand the vitality of this concept. Students use their phones even more than I do, and I hate it when websites are not mobile friendly; it discourages me from using those sites at all. That is definitely not how I want my students to feel about the school library website!
One of the articles this week discussed beacons, and I loved that idea! I appreciated Alice’s post and her more thorough research into beacons, but I’ll have to do some more of my own to see if this is viable to use on a public school campus. If so, what a wonderful idea! My students need constant reminders about homework assignments and test dates and I still get complains that they were not aware of something I said three times, posted on the school gradebook website, and wrote on the whiteboard. Maybe if the message went to their phone, they would actually see it!
The last concept that I came away with is not to be discouraged. Sure, my students are driving me nuts with their texting and scrolling through instagram in class lately, but mobile devices are an excellent tool, and I should not ignore that just because they are annoying me. Yes, there is a balance to be had, but as a school librarian, I should continue to look for and encourage that balance instead of supporting any sort of banning.