Fun Fact: 5 (I think) years ago, when I was applying to the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, I chose to write my entrance essay on why technology, particularly cell phones, should be allowed in classrooms. So, writing this blog post this week I felt like things were really coming full circle. I thought it was cool to see that even after 4 years of being a part of the education program, my opinion remained the same as when I was just a baby at 17 starting my journey to becoming an educator. My opinion then and now is that the technology that is in the palm of your hand when you have access to a cellphone holds an endless potential for opportunities in the classroom.
Being an educator, technology is very often a topic of controversy. Parents, and sometimes fellow teachers, can have concerns about the amount of “screen time” children are given access to. It is important to have a solid answer for those concerned why you are incorporating technology in the classroom. This relates to pointing out the difference between “screen time” and “educational screen time”. What this means, is that there is a difference between spending an hour playing video games shooting zombies, and spending an hour on an educational app or website such as Mathletics.
This week, Laura and I had a conversation about the inclusion of cell phones in the classroom. We created a script that related closely to a conversation that would be had between a parent and teacher. We decided to have the conversation over text, to show how texting can be used in positive ways. You can check out Laura’s blog about our texting adventure here!
When integrating technology into the classroom, it is important to have research and proof to defend your choices in the classroom and help to calm parents concerns. As you can see in my conversation with Laura above, who was acting as a concerned parent, I almost immediately offered the opportunity to send her research showing the reasons why I made the decision to include cell phones/texting in my classroom. You can find the article I referenced in our conversations here! It is an absolutely amazing article that includes 7 ways to use texting to your advantage in classrooms. If you can’t beat them- join them! If students are going to be using their phones in classes by sneaking around you anyway, you might as well find positive ways to use them!
That’s it, that’s all!