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Thompson: Ban Those Infernal Cell Phones

Cell-phones-on-planesThe New York Times' Patricia Willens writes in "To Ban of Not Ban Cellphones" that parents are intensely divided on the issue of cell phones in schools.  I wish all schools were orderly enough so that students could be taught to use personal electronic devices in the learning process, but that is impossible in the anarchy of many urban schools. We cannot teach students to learn for mastery if they have not been taught to master their technology. When schools can not control cell phone abuses (and I have never seen one that could)  students are continually distracted by text messages, gossip, and arranging fights. Some parents complain about the double standard of using metal detectors in some schools to confiscate cell phones, but not in more affluent schools where those systems are not necessary. Metal detectors, however, are like "zero tolerance" policies; they are largely ineffective fig leaves for when nothing else works.   Confiscating cell phones, while politically difficult, can work.  If parents must retreive banned property, they will make sure that students check their phones before entering restricted areas.  The issue is whether school leaders have the will power required to keep cell phones from disrupting the educational process. - JT (@drjohnthompson)Image  via.


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Allowing cell phones in classrooms is tantamount to experimenting on children, and I doubt that the results will please us.

What do you have against risky experiment on children? You sound like a defender of the "status quo."

Seriously,we are all embarking in an experiment in regard to dealing with children and emerging digital technologies. All I ask is that adults play the adult role. So far, we haven't tried very hard do set and teach boundaries.

Along with technology comes certain risks. I agree with the fact that adults should do their jobs and place certain boundaries.

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