Principals trying out cell phones

Received this email from a local principal.

I’m sure we are not going insane, but some would probably disagree.  Carla and I tried something new and, well a little bit rebellious today.  We invited the grade 8/9 ELA class/students to bring their cell phones into class (if they didn’t have one we used mysask for text).  Our goal, using cell phones for learning.  Our objectives, appropriate use of cell phones (manners and ethics), using the calendar/scheduling, using text to discuss literature (lit circles), tracking progress and assignments/projects, and engaging the new learner.  Guess what, it worked like a charm and the kids are peeing themselves with enthusiasm.  Welcome to Web 2.0!!!!  I needed to share.

I like this.

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  • “hands clapping loudly” – congratulations for introducing mobile phones into your lesson – in 2 years time you’ll look back on this moment and laugh – wondering why mobile phones were ever ‘banned’ from the classroom.

    Path the way. Spread the word.’

    Allison Miller
    Adelaide, South Australia

  • I got a similar reaction when I did this with my high schoolers – I like that this principal is looking into educational applications, but I think the most important takeaway here is that s/he’s having a discussion about mobile phone manners and ethics. Although I think it’s very rude when students text during class, I honestly don’t think many of them think much of it, and probably think we teachers blow the issue out of proportion (to be fair, some do).

    I applaud this principal for having this dialogue outside of a punitive context and for at least considering the educational and organizational possibilities.

  • It is refreshing to see an educator embracing the possibilities rather than holding tight to the status quo and banning cell phones altogether. Perhaps they will inspire others to grab onto student interest which will accelerate student performance. Thank you for sharing.

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  • Big smile in Ontario!


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  • This is fantastic. I wished I had of known about this example 2 months ago as I’ve just written a paper abpout how to practically engage with using mobile phones in schools – how to think about the policy dimensions and what ideas people around the globe have tried out. Its available at if you’d like to pass it on to encourage the principal! Cheers for posting this! J

  • BRAVO! I love it! Keep up the positive mobile learning…


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  • Gord Taylor

    I thought I would just update everyone on the cell phone experiment – AWESOME! It’s not the cell phone, it’s the learning, the sharing, the excitement, and the transformation that is taking place in the students. The cell phone is just the tool, it could be any other learning tool. The important thing is that it is their tool, their media, and their ideas. Learners have changed! Learning must change, too!

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  • Quick….someone let ALL administrators (and various other folks still teaching like its 1973) know there is a reason why EVERY OTHER SECTOR OF THE WORLD has embraced communication tools (cell phones, blackberries, etc) as a way of increasing productivity!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Patti

    Congratulations Gord and Carla. I think this is so exciting. There are so many aspects of web 2.0 that we need to stay (get) current on in order to motivate our students. Recently we have been investigating how to use MP3 players and podcasts into our learning so students see these devices as so much more than to download or play music. Taking technology to different levels!!

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  • What a great idea and story you have provided. Very interesting stuff