Cell Phones in the Classroom

by Mary Dumas, Nicholas Scinta, and Allison Wang


Definition: Problems and potential of student cell phones in the classroom.

Overview: There are many things to consider when bringing cell phones into the classroom. Students can use them for negative things such as texting or calling people during class, sending bomb threats into the school so they get to go home early, driving on school property and talking on their phone, sending friends answers to tests, etc. There are also positives about having cell phones in school. Students can use their cell phones in math class, while taking quizzes, learning the different uses of web 2.0, etc. It all depends on the view the students and educators have about allowing cell phones in the classroom and the limits educators have set on what the use is. Below is a list of websites, power points, blogs, journal articles, and videos about the positives and negatives of cell phones in schools.



Weighing the Pros and Cons
This website weighs out the pros and cons of cell phones in schools. Examples of pros being students taking pictures of class projects to show their parents or text messaging a friend homework if they missed a day. Examples of cons are sending answers to friends or recording teachers.

K12 Online Conference 2009
This website has an extremely interesting debate going on in the comment section between a "Michael" and a "Liz" who are debating cell phones in the classroom and how much benefit really comes from having them in the classroom, and how much "wasted cost" is involved? Please note the links DO work, but they are larger files and need a good amount of time time to load.

School Safety: Cell Phones, Camera Phones, and Pager Issues
This is a website created by National School Safety and Security Services. The organization believes that cell phones create less safe school emergency response and contribute to school rumors and fear.

Teaching Today: Teaching Tips, Lesson Plans & More
This website talks about common problems that occur within schools with cell phones. It also covers possible deterrent tactics teachers can use to minimize cell phone use within their classroom and/or during tests.

**What to know before buying your kid a cell phone**
This is an article about what parents should know before buying their child a cell phone. The cost, school safety, sexual predators, health risk issues should be put into consideration.

Schools Battle Cell Phones
This is an article about the pros and cons of allowing cell phones in schools. Some comments were poasted in this article.

Cell Phone Restrictions Approved for Indian River Teachers
This is a news articles about the Indian River School Board ignited debate when it banned students from bringing cell phones to school but now it's telling teachers to lead by example.

Websites on Positive Uses of Cell Phones in Classrooms:ToysToTools.jpg

Web 2.0 applications and classroom cell phone use
This article discusses how cell phones have been used in a charter school for at-risk students, as well as how and why they should be used on a broader basis. Also discussed are some future possibilities for cell phone use based upon the emergence of web 2.0 applications that support mobile phone use.

Get Cell Phones into Schools
Forget one laptop per student. It's time to embrace the device that kids are expected to put away when they get into the classroom—the cell phone

Can Kids Really Learn Math From Smartphones?
This is a project by a math teacher Suzette Kliewer, she used smartphones to teach students math. Students were interested in learning and they were engaging throughout this project.

Pick up the cell and call the school
This is an article about student's cell phone use during school hours. The author described how the policy should be in this article, and what attitude should the teachers have when dealing with this issue.

Blog Websites:

10 Reasons Cell Phones Should be Allowed in Schools
This is one of the blog posts from cool-cat-teacher, one of the recommended blogs for our class to look at and read on a daily basis. Vicki lists 10 reasons why her and her husband think cell phones should be allowed in schools.

Cell Phones in Schools?

This is a blog I came across while looking around on wordpress.com. It is about a guy who visited his local school to talk to students about their technology use. It happened to be that cell phones was the technology they used the most. He goes on to talk about how it has become a hot topic of debate especially in New York. Then he asks what the reader thinks. Although there are not many comments on the blog I feel that he has some powerful facts on there and good responses from the few people that did post. It is worth checking out!

Schools Battle Cell Phones
This blog gives a brief overview of the different opinions of cell phones in schools. There are also many comments by readers and their opinions. What I really like about this site are the links that can bring the reader to the "pros and cons" of cell phones, "common sense advice", and two separate articles written about two separate school districts that have banned cell phones.

Cell Phones in the Classroom: Cyberbullying Research Center
This blog discusses both cell phones in the classroom and if teachers have the right to check the contents of confiscated phones. It cites a Supreme Court Case that says schools need to have just cause to search a phone and "just cause" meaning that there needs to be a belief that students have been violating a school policy with the aid of their phone. (This would include cheating or if the student is believed to be cyberbullying other students). This post has stimulated many open ended comments and unsupported opinions, that it just screams to be commented on. I invite you to take a look.

Cell Phones – Time to Lift the Ban on Mobiles in the School Setting?
This is a blog which provides the current view of cell phones in schools. It was argued that the positive results of the phone use in the classroom helped students both in their social and learning environments.

Mobile Phones in the Classroom Again
This blog is written by a teacher who is frustrated by school boards and people who say cell phones in classrooms can only be detrimental. He lists off a few of his reasons that cell phones could help benefit kids in the classroom and then provides links to back up his suggestions. There are also (at this point in time) 50 comments on his page and as with all of the other blogs, people are bringing up some good points and some not so good points, begging the reader to chime in.

Journal Articles:

Txting away UR EDUCATION
This is a journal article about the use of cell phones in many schools is getting out of control. Students get distracted and they tend to focus less in class with the use of cell phones.

Learning when to say no to text messages
This is a journal article about a recently survey on students at two high schools it was found that many students were routinely sending hundreds of texts every day.

The phone: a tool for learning
This is an article about a postive side of cell phone learning in schools.

Cell phones in school: a necessity or a nuisance?
The article presents views of several students on the ban on cell phones and other communication devices in New York City schools.

Updating Policy on Latest Risks for Students with Cell Phones in the School.
The article focuses on the issues surrounding the use of cell phones by students while at school. Schools are being forced to revise their policies on cell phone use due to disruptions during class. Students would take inappropriate pictures and videos, and the potential for cheating is a concern for faculty.

School Zone Laws
This is a news article on warning people that they could face fines up to $200 for using cell phones while in school zones. City officials in Odessa's school have stated that they will treat this issue like any other moving violation such as running a red light.

Cell phones are being used in class as an educational tool
This is a journal article about how cell phones could be used as an educational tool in the classroom by many teachers.

Cell Phones in Classrooms Land Teachers on Online Video Sites
This is a journal article describes how students use camera phones to record their teachers and post them on websites such as Youtube. Policies were mentioned in different States.


PowerPoint presentation published by an elementary principal. The PowerPoint is about appropriate and inappropriate uses of cell phones, school rules on cell phones, consequences if caught with a cell phone, and safety tips.

This is a Power Point presentation on the positives of having a cell phone in school.


Cell phones are not only being banned from students in classrooms but also from drivers in school zones. This is a video from Austin news about fines that are being given out to drivers (including parents of students) who talk on their cell phones while in a school zone. The law enforcement says it is dangerous for people to be on their cell phone while in a school zone.

This youtube video is done by a man named George Engel who is proposing the integration of cell phones into the classroom. He cites how he is aware the potential problems cell phones bring to the classroom, but believes these issues can be addressed with proper rules to monitor their use. Engel brings up good points that cell phones can be used as great collaborative tools but he seems to gloss over potential problems that come with introducing cell phones into the classroom and does not seem to give suggestions as to how to try and control these potential problems.

This is news about a school banning the use of cell phones during class sessions. Some students were interviewed, and expressed their opinions.