Smart Phones, Dumb Schools?

It is a conundrum: we want students to use technology, and yet we ban cell phones.

Indeed, we will bring an antique cart of laptops to a classroom, wait 15 minutes for them to boot, while students sit with instant-internet access phones in their backpacks.

Well, truth be told, the phones are not in their bags. The students have the phones in their laps, sending texts to each other, while waiting for the laptops to boot.

The problem is that students pay more attention to their phones than to their teachers (that would be me). The myth is that in the old days they were locked into everything I said.

I suspect we would be better off by welcoming students' phones, and then teaching the students appropriate use. While they are multi-tasking, maybe we can show them why multi-tasking is a bad idea. Impossible, actually, according to brain researchers. (Watch a video on multi-tasking).

P.S. Open question (meaning, I don't know the answer): Schools are required by federal law to restrict access to certain types of internet access - does this apply to a student's own phone or computer, used on school grounds?