David Warlick posted a question on Twitter.
(original post, here)
While I didn't research Ewan McIntosh, or why the "Twit" was spelled the way it was, but the question hit me like a bullet. Paraphrasing, "Would you break cellphone usage rules if it benefits education?" My answer is the title of my post.
You see, our school district, like many in our state permits cellphones on school property, but bans their use and visibility during the instructional day. Pennsylvania's State Law and decree from the Board of Education states that cellphone policy is set by the individual districts. While I agree with our school's policy, I have to wonder if it's valid.
Earlier, I posted the results of a student-run survey on cellphone use by students and teachers in our High School. Policy or not, cellphones are being used throughout the school-day. I check my Twitter sms messages between lessons (Twitter is blocked by our school's filters, as is all instant messaging options.) Also, since I can only check voicemails from one phone in all of my 6 buildings I teach in, I regularly give out my cellphone number for performance contacts, and to colleagues.
Would I break the rules of cellphone use to improve education? Yes. I do. If I had reason for students to have cellphones out in order to improve their orchestra rehearsals or personal practicing, I'd fight for the right to allow it. If they were Twitterers and demonstrated that they were following "educational" feeds, I'd even consider hearing from them.
My question in return: What types of educational uses do cellphones have, and do students have a right to have them during school?