Until recently, the simplest sign of the presence of a cell phone in the classroom could be a reason for teachers to take drastic measures, such as temporary confiscation of the device or even suspension of the class for the student. Although mobile phone usage in the classroom has increased over time, they are still as hated as they ever were. However, outside of evaluation moments, more teachers have discovered ways to change the paradigm and start using cell phones as learning allies.
1. It is a language resource
In foreign language classes, translation and exercise apps can be dynamic and practical. Also, it is possible to take advantage of different resources, such as audiobooks, excerpts from films or TV series, and much more, as a complement to the traditional material used.
2. Share resources
In and out of the classroom, students can use their cellphones to share materials, website tips, and more. It is also a great way to demonstrate knowledge. With cellphones in hand, students can record conversations or videos of the classes, which allows them to confirm what was seen in the classroom afterward.
3. As a discussion tool
For many teachers, this tip may seem completely unrealistic. In many cases, the cell phone has proven to be a great tool for encouraging classroom participation, especially with more shy and introverted students. In addition to continuing the discussion after class on social networks, they can interact in forums organized by teachers, either on specialized websites or in Facebook groups.
Students can access from their mobile phones the necessary supplementary documentation provided by the teacher to expand their knowledge and to elaborate a bit more on a particular subject. Having a Smartphone or tablet allows you to go deeper into the subjects that the teacher has given in class and access the bibliography in just a few minutes, making it a fundamental tool and undoubtedly a great help when studying.
Mobile phone use at school also offers the option of accessing digital media from your seat. The teacher could draw your attention to an educational YouTube video or research on the Internet with you on relevant topics. Students are no longer dependent on expensive school computers!
4. Basis for learning
Smartphones offer a good basis for learning. For example, teachers can use smartphones to convey how best to protect sensitive data in the digital age. Apps that request a lot of information from you serve as practical examples. Should you always transmit this? That would be an interesting lesson topic that perfectly includes cell phone use at school.
5. Access to information
Smartphone programs such as dictionaries or other reference works (Wikipedia) let you shine in everyday school life. And MyScript Calculator allows you to type in complicated equations by using your phone. This is faster than with a conventional calculator.
The time is long gone when students have to go to the library or an encyclopaedia to do a job. Although books contain valuable information that can be of great help to them, they can find anything on the Internet, and much more immediately.
However, students must learn that not everything that appears on the network is true, and therefore they must contrast the information before accepting it as valid. In this sense, it is an advantage of the mobile as long as it is used correctly.
In addition, with the use of cell phones, we can access our information anywhere; this allows us to have time as our ally since it is not necessary to go through rigorous schedules to access educational content since we have them within our reach.
6. Create a learning method based on student needs
With the help of applications on the cell phone or tablet, it is easier to adapt to students’ learning rhythm. Learning through fun activity, which helps to absorb knowledge better, has been a great help for students thanks to these new technologies.
7. Schedule activities
Teachers can inform students of exam dates or work assignments via their mobile phones. These measures make student-teacher interaction easier. These types of devices also allow the presentation of papers online.
Through the calendars, teachers can schedule and notify about exam dates, project delivery, homework review, etc. The inclusion of these applications allows the teacher and the student to be in perfect communication.
8. Group learning
Educational mobile applications benefit students so that they can share the development of certain activities with different classmates, creating groups, sharing responses, etc. These applications facilitate exploratory learning, educate yourself in the field, explore, experiment with, and apply while learning the lesson.
Below we present the risks and disadvantages of cell phone usage in the classroom. In the most serious cases, the physical or emotional integrity of the student may be endangered.
Bullying or cyberbullying is a reality in many countries of the world. The students’ emotional integrity can be seriously affected, especially if the student’s environment is not aware of the problem. The big problem of the current era is that this harassment continues when school hours end, usually through the social network.
Social networks are a double-edged sword: although they allow students to socialize and stay connected with their peers, the same network may be the place through which they receive insults and even threats.
This would be a general disadvantage of cell phone use by students, not only at school.
A clear disadvantage of mobile in classrooms is that the student can be distracted. The telephone does not stop being an inexhaustible source of stimuli that can divert the student from paying attention. This is already leading to serious addictions of all ages, a problem that must be treated with professional help.
3. Status symbol
Having an iPhone worth hundreds of dollars or a high-end device can be a status symbol for students and may affect their relationship with their fellow students.
Currently, a phone is nothing more than a consumer good with an expiration date, and from time to time, technologies become obsolete. Many points to the need to reverse this to avoid compulsive consumerism and the need to be “up to date” to be socially accepted.
4. Sedentary lifestyle
Although the use of the phone is related to a sedentary lifestyle, some applications can boost exercise. These applications can be used in physical education classes, not only for exercise planning but for correcting common mistakes.
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