Written by Mo Qureshi, BSD Education
This week we bring you a discussion by 5 education experts on using mobile phones in the classroom. The overall consensus in this article is that experts don’t want to ban the use of mobile phones in the classroom because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
This discussion came about in June 2018 when the Minister for Education in New South Wales, Australia – Rob Stokes ordered a review into mobile phone use in schools.
Whilst there are concerns expressed in the article in reference to the need for human communication and the risk of cyber bullying, the positive benefits that mobile phones bring to the enhancement of the learning experience for students clearly outweigh this. There is also an opinion expressed that phones are an important access to parents, whilst banning them mightwill merely serve to make bullying more hidden.
Benefits include understanding of the multitude of different ways to communicate we now use in the present day, the importance of the phone as part of authenticity of real world context in learning, as well as the flexibility of learning available to students where they can use their phone to progress at their own pace. It does seem clear from the expert opinion in the article, that the benefits of mobile phones can be best achieved when they are included with a clear purpose. Proper guidance given to students as part of their learning experience about the use of mobile phones can positively impact not only their learning, but their overall well being and life in general.
Some quotes from the article we particularly liked:
Matthew Kearney, an Associate Professor for the Teacher Education program at the University of Technology Sydney : “if school students want to investigate, collect data, receive personalised and immediate feedback, record media, create, compose, or communicate with peers, in and beyond the classroom, then using mobile apps is ideal.”
Joanne Orlando, a Technology and Learning researcher at the Western Sydney University says, “We should not ban mobile phones in schools because it’s important to educate children to live well in the era in which they are growing up.”. She adds, “A good education for students today is knowing how to use technology to learn, communicate, and work with ideas.”
Susan M Sawyer, a Paediatrician and Professor of Adolescent Health at The University of Melbourne:“schools need to develop policies around the use of mobile phones during school hours. Given the dynamic nature of the mobile world, regularly engaging students and parents in reviewing and revising these policies is an important part of everyone’s learning.”
At BSD we encourage students to use mobile phones in the classroom to document their learning by taking notes, clicking photos, to research online or test the mobile compatibility and user experience of their recently coded projects. In fact, we find internationally that students are most motivated when they fully understand the potential of technology and consequently feel empowered to use it as a tool to positively impact their communities.