Bringing a cell phone to class usually starts a debate between teacher and student. Most teachers completely ban them. They are often regarded as distractions from learning. There are several issues concerning mobile learning like social media, Internet filtering, safety laws, teaching techniques, school policies, etc.
Looking at mobile devices in a positive light, they can facilitate student learning inside the four walls of the classroom. Students communicate with each other and with the teachers; they learn facts and information; and they can also create projects using smartphones. They also used smartphones as tool for education. However, for many educators, mobile devices are not welcome inside the ideal classroom.
Many teachers believe that phones are not really important—not because they are useless, but because they are just tools that do not affect the lesson plan if they are not used.
Educators have to familiarize themselves with cell phones that can be used for education. They have to be a model for their students and responsibly use the gadget. Teachers can start by tinkering with the basic features of their cell phones like the calendar, notepad, calculator or even the clock. They can eventually move on to browser viewing and looking at Twitter and Facebook as a source of second-hand information.
What Can Teachers Do With Cell Phones?
The first and foremost purpose of cell phones is, of course, communication. Teachers can increase parent involvement and even help in strengthening the connection between home and school. They can do so by using the group messaging features on the device itself or with apps available in an app store.
If messaging is not enough, teachers can use Twitter to share what they do in class. They can update parents on the lessons they teach or what the assignments are for that day.
Teachers can also support the students even when at home. For example, when a student finds the homework difficult, he or she can just ask his or her teacher. Moreover, there are a lot of educational apps that can aid in teaching. There are apps for creating presentations, monitoring grades, and providing new creative ideas for teaching. Cell phones open a lot of doors for education.
Teachers have to remember that before they allow their students to bring phones to class, they have to provide appropriate limitations for using the gadgets. They need to implement policies on responsible use. They can even send home parental consent forms for the parents to sign.
For mobile learning and teaching to be effective, teachers have to help students to use cell phones wisely. It is up to the teachers how to use cell phones as tools for learning. They just have to familiarize themselves with mobile learning, and who knows? They might find mobile learning very productive and helpful both in and out of the classroom.