Changing technologies should mean changing policies

Sami Beers

Recently I have noticed a divide amongst liberty teachers’ classroom policies; in particular on the subject of cell phones.

We have all been in that class where cell phones have been expressly forbidden and locked in desks at first sight.   Where teachers have seen the flash of a screen and immediately thought texting, and texting equals bad.

But recently I have begun to see a new type of classroom policy in which cell phones are slowly being accepted into the classroom.  A type of policy in which teachers have accepted that cell phones are no longer just for talking and texting, but for so much more.

No one can deny the massive impact that technology has made on our generation, and that impact is continually growing and shaping our lives. So shouldn’t our school be supporting that growth?

In kindergarten I was told not to rely on spell check because the majority of assignments would probably not be typed; however that has not been the case.  We need to shift the way that students are being taught, because today’s students will not only have to type almost every assignment that they will turn in, they will also have access to a computer in their back pocket.

From online dictionaries in English, to back up calculators in Science, to quick current event facts in Social Studies, these are tools that today’s student will have with them in some way shape or form their entire lives and by not including these tools in every day learning we are not giving a realistic education.

As smart phones become more accessible to the majority of the population we should start including this ever expanding technology in our education, so that today’s generation can connect this invaluable  device to learning, and learn to use its immense processing power for something other than Candy Crush.

Cell phones can be planners, note takers, translators, spell checkers, time keepers, picture takers, calculators, and constant informers which should be fully utilized in the class room.  Instead of viewing these devices as the time wasting enemy we should start to view them as the helpful, ever-present tools that they are, and begin to use their powers for good instead of vilifying them.