Nice one TDSB

Warning: This post was written in about 10 minutes with a fair bit of emotion. While I’m hoping for clarity, I’m there’s no guarantee.
: The story I linked to was from 2007. Someone from the Toronto District School Board was not able to confirm if indeed this policy is now in place.  However, I’ll not retract the post as the ideas and arguments remain valid in my opinion. This is not meant so much to attack a particular school district but simply to address the larger issue of cell phone banning that exists in many jurisdictions.

These are the types of decisions that continue to promote the “us vs. them” mentality.  What incites me is the reason they give for banning cell phones:

There’s the disruptive nature of the phone ringing or vibrating during class.

Students can text message each other and send answers about exams, a high tech way to cheat.

They can also access the Internet over the phones, making it too easy to surf or find answers they’re supposed to know while class is in session.

Phones can also act as MP3 players, another interruption.

And the built-in camera capabilities in them have been used

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Student Cellphone Presentation

Tuesday, students from Craik were able to present their learning with cellphones to Liz Kolb and about 20 ustream guests. The stream was a bit wonky but I did manage to record the hour in 3 segments. The last recording is likely the most interesting as it features more of a conversation with students, Liz and Ustream questions.

Here they are in case you’re interested:

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You should have seen these kids

I must say I was brimming with pride during the Tlt Summit. Our division presented 10 of the 60 non-commercial sessions. As one of 28 school divisions in our province and one of the smaller ones, I think this says something. I don’t apologize for bragging about the people I work with.

Because of a last minute cancellation I was asked to do an additional session. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to suggest the conveners invite Carla Dolman to do a session on her use of cellphones in the classroom. Maybe my smartest decision of the year. Carla agreed and decided to bring with her a half a dozen kids to help her. You should have seen these kids.

I wished I’d have capture it. Carla began briefly by outlining the thoughts behind the experiment to use cellphones. After about 15 minutes she paused and asked for questions. The audience of about 75 immediately began asking the students questions. “Did it change your learning? Were you tempted to use it to text or call in off task ways? Was it just a novelty? How did students who didn’t have a cellphone feel? Are you still using it … Read the rest