Several years ago, students were sent to the office for chewing gum or talking in school. Today, at many schools, one of the most common reasons a student might be sent to the office is for using a computer.
Are you shocked? You thought schools loved computers and wanted students to use them all the time? Sure, that’s what they say. However, in many schools, their actions tell a different story.
A SmartPhone Is Just A Tiny Computer
The computers those students are trying to use is their SmartPhone.
Do you remember when you used to watch television shows like Star Trek and were envious of those tiny computers they could carry around in their hands? We have those now. We just don’t call them tricorders. Instead, we call them phones.
The SmartPhones of today are becoming almost as robust as desktop computers. With the advancements n 4G and VoIP technologies, they will soon be just as powerful.
Think of the latest app you downloaded. Is it something that you previously had to sit in front of your computer to do? That’s no longer true because you carry a tiny computer in your pocket.
Schools Need More Computers
Schools are constantly trying to raise money or look for grants. One of the things they are most likely to be spending money for is technology. Schools always need more computers.
In an ideal situation, a teacher would have a computer for each student. The problem is money. Schools don’t have enough money to buy all of those computers.
Students Have The Computers
Almost every high school student is walking around with a computer in their pocket. While it has not been the case for elementary students, it is becoming more and more common to see elementary students with SmartPhones.
Schools can solve many of their technology budget problems by using the computers that students already have. They carry them in their pockets. Simply have tthem take those out and use them
Many Educational Apps Are Free
Let’s face it. The price of computers is not the only issue. Software is expensive.
It would be naïve to assume that SmartPhones could negate all software purchases. Of course some purchases will still need to be made. However, many educational apps are available for download. In most cases, teachers could not ask students to download and pay for an app.
Fortunately, some operating systems, such as Android-based systems, have many free downloads of both educational and other apps. Teachers could expect students to use free educational apps, even If they must be deleted immediately afterwards.
What About Unapproved Texting?
First of all, if you believe a teacher sees all students who are texting, even when the student didn’t want them to see, then you need to move into the current century. Texting is going to happen. The fact is that students can do it in ways that a teacher never even begins to suspect.
The truth is that unapproved texting is much more likely to occur with their phones hidden inside their pockets than if they have them out on their desks, busily working on a task. The bottom line is that if you keep them busy, students won’t have time for unapproved texting.
Use What You Have
The moral of this story I that you shoul always use what you have available to you before asking for more. Schools can solve many technology budget issues by using the technology that they already have at their disposal.
Steve Jones, the author, has been looking into virgin media phones and their potential to supplement common classroom education practices.