This article is a bit old, but it revolves around an incident that happened in a New York City school where 400 cell phones, 70 iPods, and various other electronic gadgets were taken from students in what can only be described as an unannounced “sweep”. The article even refers to it as “contraband”. Huh? Let me get this straight…students are not allowed to have these types of devices in schools so we need to have police officers with metal detectors conduct these sweeps. For what? To prove they can enforce the rules? To prove that they can do whatever they want, whenever they want? To prove that students do not need cell phones in school? As a teacher, I think there is a place and time to use these devices, but to simply take them away as soon as they walk into school is ridiculous. Will Richardson makes a great point about this when he says:
So let’s review. What does this teach those kids? First, it teaches them that they don’t deserve to be empowered with technology the same way adults are. Second, that the tools that adults use all the time in their everyday lives to communicate are not relevant to their own communication needs. Third, that they can’t be trusted (or taught, for that matter) to use phones appropriately in school.
I think that pretty much sums it up. It is amazing how administrators and teachers are so scared of technology and these devices. They would rather put ridiculous restrictions on them instead of figuring out a way to make it work for everyone…appropriately.