These are great comments, everyone. Here are a few more thoughts from listeners of WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, who heard our segment today on cell phones in schools.
Debbie Yorizzo from Lexington Ave. at 68th street:
"Cell phones are a distraction even in the elementary schools. They are a total distraction to the simple sophistication of a classroom environment: students, knowledge, and teachers. Rules in a classroom provide us with the paradoxical lessons about the philosophy of education: that a few rules of discipline in schools allow us to expand our minds, think freely, and learn practically. Let's give our attention to the inner strength of human learning, not the superficial seduction of technology. (Also, the requirement for any student in the 5 boroughs with a cell phone should be a possession of an active public library card!)"
Willyn Webb, who co-authored a book about using cell phones in class for education, writes:
"My students and I use our cell phones to keep track of assignment deadlines, set reminders to study for tests, take notes, review notes anywhere/anytime, calculator, translator, texting experts, sharing information in polls, answering test questions, having a voice in brainstorming and discussion, documenting projects with pictures and video, making podcasts, collaborating on writing projects, communicating with teachers/parents about class studies, timing speeches, practicing oral reports, reviewing, getting feedback on our writing, sharing ideas, making presentations with voice, avatars, and pictures, supporting in other in difficult times, offering encouragement, and creating online presentations with input from others in real time communication with Wiffiti."
But Popejon from Ridge, NY was more skeptical:
"In adult life, cell phones are nothing but a constant distraction in work, play and in public. So now its a tool for learning? Oh yes and kids will use it for learning and not cheating and as a major distraction.... Why not let kids bring their own TV to class to [sic]?"