Because of changes in the Alltel / Verizon world of cell phones, the ESSDACK office was forced to switch from older phones to the newer Droid model. So . . . a steep learning curve this morning.

And not just a steep learning curve for me but one for K-12 education in general. Web-based handhelds in all forms (iPhones, Blackberries, Droids) will change the way we do school. At the very minimum, students with these types of devices will be able to access information while at school outside of the traditional filtered internet network.

Kids have always found ways to get around school internet filters. Web-based handhelds just make it easier. The question isn’t whether or not this is going to happen.

The question becomes

how should schools respond?

Many school districts already have cell phone bans in place. (In some urban districts, businesses have sprung up around middle and high schools that will store student cell phones during the school day.) And in most of those districts, the answer to the question is to become even more draconian in their enforcement. Schools have been working for years to get more computers in the hands of their students but don’t want them to use the computers they bring to school every day.

There are issues that should be discussed – appropriate phone AUPs, protection from inappropriate sites, time on task, effective learning strategies – but for schools to suggest banning handhelds completely is the answer seems very short-sighted.

Possible resources to help address the issue:

(Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone)

cogdocblog. “4 students 4 phones”. 1 October 2008. Flickr. 15 April 2010.

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