• Students encouraged to power up in the classroom

    Date: 07.11.11 | by Judge Tom.

    Most middle and high schools have policies about electronic devices at school. They are either banned all together or limited to lunch time. You can find your school’s “Acceptable Use Policy” in your Student Handbook. Some schools, however, are experimenting with digital learning.

    In Texas, several districts are experimenting with a Bring Your Own Technology approach to the cyber-world. Students are encouraged to bring their own personal communication devices to school. Since teenagers are digital natives from birth, it’s not natural to ask them to power-down when they’re at school.

    Regular cell phone use is still restricted at most schools. But when teachers feel it’s appropriate, they may ask the students to power-up and participate in the discussion. Students have shown that the use of smart phones, laptops and tablet computers in the classroom engages more students, builds trust and allows shyer students to get involved.

    Photo by Ericnvntr (Flickr)

    Maggie Erricksen, age 15, said “If you have a thought, you don’t have to fear having a wrong answer.” Hanna Shin, also 15, commented that it feels natural to use technology you’ve gown up with. “It fits in with what we’re doing at home.”

    Do you know your school’s policy about cell phone use or logging on to Facebook in class or elsewhere on campus? Have you considered the consequences of a teacher or your principal reading through your text messages? Is there anything on your phone that you wouldn’t want them to read? Maybe think about deleting questionable comments and photos.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    7 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Askthejudge.info
      Tue, 12 Jul 2011 at 12:44

      New blog post: Students encouraged to power up in the classroom http://ow.ly/1dKCfk

    • Oklahoma City Divorce Attorney Matt Ingham
      Thu, 14 Jul 2011 at 09:43

      I agree with Maggie, allowing students to participate through the use of technology greatly reduces the impact of the ‘fear factor’. By allowing the use of technology in the classrooms, both shy students and out going students can participate in class room discussions more freely and openly.

    • High School Student Toby Elizabeth
      Thu, 28 Jul 2011 at 03:43

      I respectfully disagree with Maggie; while having the internet is a quick way to find information, it disrupts the learning community found in a classroom. Being able to google an answer shows nothing of intelligence besides the quickness of one’s thumbs. Although being able to conduct research is an exceptional skill, I don’t feel that a quick answer in class teaches such nor that it is more useful than teaching students how to adequately use their brains. Out of the classroom one needs to have confidence in their answers and know how to participate without a computer attached to their hands at all times. This might be the age of technology, but I certainly hope it does not mean throwing out brainpower.
      Thanks for your comments, Toby. A balance between all-things Google and independent off-line thought & research is not a bad idea.

    • Beth W.
      Sat, 30 Jul 2011 at 10:25

      If students are allowed to use technology in the classroom, what practices are in place to keep the students focused on their studies. Kids will be kids :)
      Good point! Who wouldn’t be tempted (kids and adults) to check their Facebook account, email, etc.?

    • Vicki
      Tue, 02 Aug 2011 at 07:02

      What ever happend to just using good old fashioned number two pencils and writing paper??? That’s all we used when I was a student and the quality of education was high. There is a time and a place to use technology in the classroom though. It’s called tech ed.

    • Pam
      Wed, 03 Aug 2011 at 06:16

      It’d be hard to keep the students focused whenever they’ve been given the green light to use technology in the classroom.

    • Divorce Lawyers Tulsa
      Sat, 27 Aug 2011 at 06:49

      I like it. I like it a lot.

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