Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Cell Phones in the Classroom - What Do You Do?
I've always been fairly tolerant of cell phones in my classroom, as long as they aren't a distraction to other students. Since my students are paying to be there, I figure it's their money wasted if they don't pay attention. Lately, though, the level of rudeness and distraction has been unreal. I've had students answer the phone in class, text while I am talking directly to them, or cheating on tests with them. (During a vocabulary test, I had a student with dictionary.com on his phone....) I'm rethinking my policy.
I'd like to do what this woman does in the video. I'm sure that ended the phone problem in her classroom, but I don't have the guts or a tile floor to accomplish this task. Plus, I don't want to banish cell phones entirely, because students do use them to take pictures of notes on the board or record certain parts of my lectures. I check my own phone on every break for text messages from absent students, and often use the calendar or calculator function during class, so I appreciate that they can be useful.
I am, however, going to banish them during certain times in the class period. Here are a couple of ideas I'm mulling over. If you have any good ideas, please send them my way. A new quarter starts in October, and I want to have my policy in hand.
1. Basket drop. One teacher at my school has a basket at the front of the classroom where students drop their phones at the beginning of class, then they can pick them up and use them on breaks.
2. My online teacher acquaintance Scipi is using the "Sock it Away" method. She describes it on her blog post here. This seems like a great idea because it seems effective, but also uses a little humor.
3. One of my college professors told us that if he saw or heard a cell phone in his class, we would be asked to leave. I could modify this to lecture or presentation times, because as I said earlier, if they waste their own work time, that's their problem, not mine.
Any other ideas? Post them here. I'm all ears!