I keep warning my middle school eighth grades students that one day they’ll groan at the teacher about assignments given on their phones. I predicted it would happen to them in high school, but they had their doubts. Seems this may be closer than they realize:
The students in the article are like mine — they love their phones. My students think they would love to use them at school. They don’t realize that they’d have to learn to use them in a way that helps them learn. Adults have had to learn (or still have to learn) how to use the technology in a way that doesn’t cause problems. It was interesting to watch this learning happen as I went through college and grad school.
Eventually, students won’t crave the use of their phones in class, but I am excited about the thought of the first time I’m allowed by my district to start including such common technology in the classroom.
Update 24 June 2010: My district has added portable electronics to the list of things I can “request approval” of for a lesson. I just have to design a lesson and fill out the form, and then the Director of Instruction for my building signs off on it. Now I have two choices: quickly include it in a lesson as a gimmick, or spend some real time thinking about the most authentic and effective use of personal tech to enhance lessons I teach.