I admit that I'm a smartphone addict; my iPhone is my lifeline. I no longer have to struggle to memorize phone numbers. I no longer have to keep track of little pieces of paper that contain To-do lists, reminders or grocery lists. I love texting but I do admit to having to set my font size to large (my kids don't hesitate to tease me about this fact). I don't get lost driving anymore (I love my Maps app). I rarely miss appointments anymore (I love iCal). Thanks to the Clock app, I don't oversleep anymore. I can capture photographs and video at a moment’s notice (although I do admit that I have more pictures of my cats and dog than I do of my children). I have apps that entertain me and apps that help me be more efficient with my work. My addiction to my iPhone started about 4 years ago; I don’t expect to be cured any time soon.
Of course, I admit that it took me a while to get comfortable with smartphone technology; I had so many old habits to break. My children and my students, on the other hand, have grown up with these devices. They are well versed on their capabilities and eager to use them to their fullest. My son, who is a senior in high school, does as much of his homework as possible on his iPhone. He writes papers, reads books, researches and collaborates all on this small, hand-held device. This is where the disconnect lies; the students want to use smart phones in school but many schools ban them. Even schools with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies that allow students to bring in their own laptops, tablets, etc., often exclude smartphones from the acceptable list of electronic devices.
I’d love to hear from students and teachers on this topic? Do you feel that smartphones should be allowed in schools/classrooms or not? What policies are in place at your school regarding the use of smartphones (for teachers and students)?