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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cell phones and schools don't mix

Within the last few months, many schools, including my former high school, West Ottawa High School, have caved in to the requests of students and their parents regarding the issue of cell phones on school grounds. Previously, the policy was to ban cell phones from school grounds. That seems to have changed in the time since. I found an article at WCSH6.COM that I feel deals with the subject and the fears of educators concerning the possibility for the use of text messaging to cheat on tests.
Cell Phones Create Dispruption In Schools

There is more than just school bells ringing at high schools in Maine these days. Cell phones are attached to almost every teenager, and school administrators say it disrupts learning.

Many schools are combating the disruption from the ringing cell phones by banning them from the classroom or making the students turn them off. Some administrators say it's a hard line to walk though. They want to make sure students aren't making calls or texting exam answers, while still being able to utilize phones for safety purposes in the case of an emergency.
"When we take a look at that situation, wow, that was the only communication we had with the school, that had cell phones. I see there is a usefulness to cell phones and there's also a disrutption to the educational process. We have to walk that tight wire," said Bruce Bailey, the Orono High School Principal.
Other schools in the area that don't allow students to use cell phones during school are Hampden, Hermon and Brewer.
In my blog, I have mentioned many educator's concerns about the possible use of cell phones to cheat on tests (see here). The previous post also mentions the security risks involved with using picture phones for sending test answers. I believe the only answer to this problem is to ban cell phone use from school grounds.


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