Mobile devices are getting smaller and more powerful. They have the ability to deliver learning objects and provide access to online systems and services. Today, mobile devices such as cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), smart phones, Blackberry, iPods, MP3 and MP4 players are finding their way into classrooms in students’ pockets. These high tech gadgets are useful learning support tools for students. Unfortunately, many teachers and administrators have serious concerns about the use of these high tech gadgets in schools. Some schools are so afraid and go extreme to ban these mobile devices for security and other reasons. It is true that mobile devices could be disruptive and dangerous in schools. So can pencils and scissors, as Doug Johnson made his points in the article “A Proposal for Banning Pencils” as well as Wesley Fryer argued in his online article “Scissors and Cell Phones.” Banning these devices is not a good solution since the Internet is not going away, and neither are online social networks, cell phones, mp3 players, and other mobile devices.As teachers and educators, we should educate our students with the proper use of the mobile technologies. We should work together with our students who are digital natives to figure out how these devices can be used in authentically ways to enhance teaching and learning. Teachers and school administrators should embrace the rich learning enhancing possibilities that these mobile devices provides and will provide even more so in the future. Instead of banning these wonderful learning tools in schools, we must ensure that educational practices include the adoption of mobile technologies in productive ways.
Dr. Steve Yuen
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