I have written numerous posts about the use of cell phones in school for educational purposes, and I continue to search for others who have written on the same topic. Here is a great article which states the many reasons for allowing students to use cell phones and other handheld electronic devices (such as iPods) in classrooms.
According to By Bob Longo of TechNewsWorld,
“… looking at the world outside of education, everyone is using their cell phone to do many things they used to do exclusively on their computers. Much of this is informational and productivity related. Furthermore, cell phones or other PDAs are very cost effective and significantly more portable. Schools that cannot afford to deploy a 1:1 laptop initiative could achieve a 1:1 with a mix of laptops and lower-cost portable devices like an iPod touch.
Part of the solution, I believe, is not to ban enabling technologies that possess great value in the learning environment, but rather manage the risks that may surface in the same way we manage all risks to our children. Some of this can be done with technology, some with education and some with policy and supervision. We don’t prohibit playing in the schoolyard because it borders a street; we put up a fence, we add a supervisor and we instruct the children not to run after a ball that goes into the street. Similarly, with well-constructed software learning environments, we can provide teachers with management tools to protect our students; we can access Web 2.0 technologies and push value to our children and at the same time provide a safe and secure learning space for them to explore and prepare for the excitement of the technology-rich world they live in.”
I hope you will read this article and pass it along to other educators.