Cell Phone Solutions: If you can't beat 'em... (Noah Geisel, Spanish Teacher, Denver East High School)

All updates are being posted in the discussion forum so please check there!

Cell phones and other personal electronic devices have come to be viewed as huge problems in the classroom, distracting students and disrupting instruction. Schools have implemented policies banning or discouraging PEDs in the classroom but teachers can attest that even stringent enforcement of school policy has limited efficacy in deterring cell phones from buzzing, texting and computing in unwanted ways. This conversation aims to shift the focus from problems with cell phones to solutions by:
a) suggesting that the ‘problem’ is not with cell phones but rather classroom management; and
b) sharing a number of ways in which learning can be enhanced in classrooms that embrace cell phones as a powerful learning tool. Specifically, we will share ways in which we are/could be using camera phones, ring tones, live polling, texting, Twitter and other tools shared by participants (as well as new tools that emerge between now and February).

In addition to conducting the session as more of a conversation than a lecture ("Socratic Mediterranean Dinner Theatre Format" if you will), we will have laptops open and cell phones on for backchannel back-and-forth with www.todaysmeet.com (specific url: http://todaysmeet.com/cellphones) so that everyone who so desires may have a voice in the discussion and all comments will be accessible to the participants after the conference. The flow of the session will alternate between the presentation of a tool and audience processing and collaborating on ways that tool could be deployed in their own classrooms.

Participants will be empowered to return to class on Monday with the perspective that by embracing cell phones in the classroom, they may transform one of their biggest problems into their greatest opportunity to engage students and infuse content instruction with important 21st Century skills.

If there are any specifics you hope we cover in this session, please click over to the "discussion" tab at the top of this page and start that conversation. Also, please do check back here before the conference for updates with relevant links to sites & resources we'll be sharing. I'll also be posting useful links on Twitter (www.twitter.com/senorg). Gracias and I look forward to seeing you in Lovelandia.