Friday, October 31, 2008

Can Cell Phones be Safe?

Today is "Fun Friday" in my AVID classroom. A day when we do team building activities or have guest speakers visit. I had planned to try and play Jumbli with students. Have you heard about Jumbli? It's the scrabble-esque game you can play live on a billboard in Times Square. Quite fun, especially when the letters rearrange themselves on your computer screen after receiving your text. I thought that would be a nice fun Friday activity, that is until I learned what a problem texting can be at my school. It seems that students text each other to meet during class time--meet at the bathrooms, meet in the hall, clandestine encounters, some likely innocent, others decidely not. So, I'm torn. I do believe that cell phones are more tool than toy and am ordering a copy of the book from ISTE by Liz Kolb as I type. I've long wanted to use them as such in my classroom and I've tried to have conversations with administrators and tech evangelists about making use of cell phones in zero tolerance policy school climates, but I don't have any easy answers. I'd be interested in hearing how you keep students safe (and productive) when using cell phones in a high school classroom.

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