Class participant Juliette LaMontagne said, "I'm an advocate for cell phones in education because they provide us with affordable, accessible technology tools."
Despite the fact that students are not allowed to bring cell phones to school in New York City, the course instructs teachers that there are productive ways for students to use cell phones, even outside the classroom.
"You can use text messages, or SMS as it's also called, to get information, and you can use that in an educational setting, and you can use it to interact," said class instructor Nabeel Ahmad.
The other instructor, Dominic Mentor gave some examples.
"Teachers could text either one assignment to their students, or a couple of assignments to their students? breaking them up into groups so that they could collaborate with one another. They could collaborate either via texting with one another, or they could collaborate with the teacher."
The instructors also gave a demonstration, asking the class participants to vote via text whether they thought cell phones should be used for classroom instruction. Not surprisingly, the 'yes' votes won.
"I think it would be very useful because I think you're fighting a losing battle to oppose the fact that cell phones exist," said class participant Shilpi Balakrishnan. "Students are using it all the time anyways."
That point of view is not expected to change policy within City schools, but Teachers College plans to continue this course next summer regardless.
Web produced by: Josh Bell
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