Last week, a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that cell phones have become “near ubiquitous”: 83 percent of American adults own one. Over half of all adult mobile phone owners had used their phones at least once to get information they needed right away. And more than a quarter said that they had experienced a situation in the previous month in which they had trouble doing something because they did not have their phones at hand.
The findings of this Pew research — the reliance of adults on their cell phones — stands in sharp contrast to the policies of many schools, where cell phones remained banned or restricted. Students likely have these same needs as adults: to get online and find information they need right away. But often students are banned from using their cell phones in schools, something that students themselves list as one of the greatest obstacles they face in using technology in the classroom.
For many schools, these are formal rules, written in school policy or in student handbooks. But as phones become more like extended appendages in everyone’s lives, schools are rethinking their policies. MindShift asked teachers how or whether these rules were changing and received some interesting feedback.