Saturday, May 12, 2007

Text Messaging

This is one of the minor distractions that can bug is very difficult to catch a student text messaging in the classroom. It is amazing on how many text messages teenagers do on a daily basis, a whooping 62 messages a day. Don't their thumbs ever get tired and sore? Also, this much activity can break the buttons on the phone. It can also give the user carpal tunnel syndrome -- the painful swelling and inflammation of the fingers and wrists associated with excessive typing that increasingly affects excessive users of mobile phones. When I was a kid, I usually develop this pain after playing video games. But now, teenagers have it on a daily even hourly basis. Ouch!!


Tom said...

Does it matter?

Sometimes the social / generation gap makes us think something is ‘bad’ when it is not. As a teacher you need to stand back and put aside your emotions and values. You could spend an awful lot of energy on this and find as a result there is less learning taking place in your classroom.

As long as the texting isn’t distracting let them text. Sit the texters at the back of the room and forget about them. As a teacher you need to find ways to motivate and engage your students to learn, not to run their lives.

I let my class leave their phones on if they feel there might be an important call. I ask these students to sit near the door (or a close as possible), and to put their phone out on the desk so they can answer quickly: and to get up and walk out quickly and quietly to talk if it does ring.

What I find is the students feel I am being fair and accept this rule. So they all want to sit near the door and think it’s ‘cool’. Soon though the novelty wears off as they soon learn they are missing content while outside. And if they continually bug their peers for it a bit of peer control takes over. In a short time no one bothers leaving their phone on.

If a phone rings in a bag or away from the door, I simply confiscate it – they know the rules.

Any way that’s my take on phones in class!


Betsy B said...

A lot of school districts in my area do not allow cell phones to be on the student's desk. Some of the districts do not allow them to be in the classroom. I personally have a pet-peeve with cell phones because they take away other students' need to learn about the content