More and more school districts are wasting their energy on trying to ban, capture or otherwise disrupt their students’ use of cell phones when they return to school in a few weeks. Private schools are just as bad. One line of thinking is that they are a distraction that keep children from learning. Which is a lot like saying books are a distraction. But if a teacher can be replaced by a kid’s cellphone… he or she ought to be! Here are ten tools I use every day as a principal. In a school.
• Maps, directions and street level photos to any address or location on the planet
• Google Earth
• Unfiltered internet research
• Aps for any subject (especially Major League Baseball); to say nothing of the easy-access Ap for Twitter and Facebook
• The capacity to communicate instantly with anyone in the world via text or telephone
• Access to YouTube and Podcasts
• Instant updates on the stock market and the weather
• Unlimited music through ITunes
• The ability to translate words and phrases from any language
Teachers can not only compete with these tools, they can harness them to provide their students with a portal to the world. Isn’t that just good teaching?