Mobile Friendly or a No Phone Zone?

Your students are digital natives; they have grown up in the age of technology. Not only are they experts at navigating the internet from any device, but more and more are bringing personal devices into classrooms. This begs the question: Should technology be allowed in the classroom?

Many teachers experience the constant frustration of technology being a distractor in their class. For this reason many schools across the world enforce a strict ‘No Phone’ policy in their classrooms and some are even school wide. However, the reality of our future is that technology is not going away. In fact it will continue to integrate itself more deeply into our lives. What we must remember is that it isn’t the technology itself that is the issue, but rather how the misuse of it by the student.

With this being the case, appropriate technology usage is now another opportunity to teach respectful social interactions. We have always taught the importance of respectful listening, so why is device usage different?

Understanding that there is an appropriate time and place to use a device is now an important part of a digital nomad’s upbringing. Often times the complaint of younger generations being buried in their phones and lacking face-to-face interaction is the primary debate on how it can affect a student’s health. However providing guidance on the proper use of technology can not only lead to more meaningful face time, but more promising digital interaction as well.

Having a device friendly classroom doesn’t just benefit your students, it’s also an effective tool to up your teaching game. Instead of constantly trying to wrestle it out of the hands of each student, leverage it to meet your teaching goals. Integrating technology into research projects allows for two things to happen:

  1. Giving students the opportunity to use a device as a tool, when up to this point they have likely only used it for entertainment purposes. Every year new jobs are being created, and the ability to effectively problem solve using technology is becoming more essential.
  2. Throughout the project teachers now have the opportunity to expand their own knowledge base. History taught strictly through textbooks is informative, but the internet allows you the ability to pull out extra bits that resonate with you. This may help you discover a piece of your lesson that you genuinely find interesting,

Regardless of where our opinions fall one thing is certain: technology will continue to integrate into our lives. And though teaching in a classroom that is technology free may feel more comfortable, we challenge you to discover ways you can integrate it into your lesson plans.

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