Instead of confiscating cell phones (See: School Phone Ban Stirs, Yes, a Lot of Talk – New York Times), why don’t we figure out ways that students might be able to use them?
Example: Before a recent Teachers Teaching Teachers webcast, Bud Hunt responded to my invitation by e-mailing me his cell phone number. He was going to be in a car returning from doing a workshop, and he wondered if we could Skype into his cell phone, connecting him to the conference call and the webcast. We did it! It was great to have Bud’s thoughts and his voice with us.
Now, imagine sending students out into the neighborhood, each with a specific aspect of the environment that they are studying. They have their cell phones, and back at the classroom, you are running a live stream. They would go out as reporters. They would be able to listen to each other and they could connect with another class in another city doing the same thing.
Of course, we might want to keep an assignment like this underground since we seem to be in the middle of cell phone prohibition.
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