It’s More than Just a Phone.

I spent the better part of my day today as a participant in a Dell Education Think Tank conversation on Teacher Effectiveness and Next Generation Learning here in Raleigh.  It was a remarkable conversation that I’m sure I’ll be writing about for the next few weeks.

For tonight, though, I wanted to share a fantastic image that Greg Gersch — the graphic artist that was capturing our thoughts — developed during our conversation:

(View image credits on Flickr here)

Greg’s image was built around an interaction that Bruce Friend had with a student several years back.

While facilitating a conversation around the use of technology in schools, a student participant pulled out his phone and asked the adults in the conversation what they saw.

“Your phone,” they all answered simultaneously.

The student’s response:  “That’s where you’re wrong.  You see this as my phone.  I see it as my learning device.  And when you take it away from me when I walk in the door, you lose me as a learner.”

#ouch

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Related Radical Reads:

Cell Phones are Disrupting the Learning Environment

Using Cell Phones in Schools

Lessons Learned on Cell Phones in Schools

5 comments

  1. Derek Hatch (Hatcherelli)

    Thanks Bill. I was trying to share some of the conversation that we engage in at my school. Some teachers are frustrated beyond belief with kids and their phones…others embrace the fact that kids are carrying such a powerful device around with them. We have come a long way at this school. The day that I arrived here (3 yrs ago), there was a sign on the front door that stated, “Absolutely no cellphones beyond this point.”

  2. Derek Hatch (Hatcherelli)

    Hey Bill…great post. It really has me thinking. A phone is a learning device but I’m not sure that all students see it that way. For many kids, their phone is nothing but a major distraction which actually takes away from their learning. This is the same for adults…I see it at our staff meetings (LOL). Don’t get me wrong…I am an advocate of using personal devices as a learning tool. I can tell many stories about how kids have used their phones to enhance their learning. I think the gap is created when kids (and adults…for that matter) are not taught HOW to use that powerful learning tool that they can’t be without. I heard it said recently that, “I carry a device with me that can access all the world’s knowledge and I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with friends on Facebook.” I think that it is our job as parents and teachers to show our kids appropriate phone use and also to model good digital citizenship.

    • Bill Ferriter

      Hatch wrote:

      I heard it said recently that, “I carry a device with me that can access all the world’s knowledge and I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with friends on Facebook.” I think that it is our job as parents and teachers to show our kids appropriate phone use and also to model good digital citizenship.

      —————-

      Completely legit point, Hatch.

      I call this “building a bridge between what we know about efficient and effective learning and what kids know about the tools and spaces that they’ve embraced.” Our job is to figure out how those tools and spaces can be used to facilitate learners and then show kids that they are good for something other than looking at pictures of cats.

      Thanks for pushing…
      Bill

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