Should students be allowed to use cell phones on all assignments and assessments?
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
North Scott High School in Eldridge, Iowa is allowing students to use their cell phones for practice tests. Teachers are using PollEverywhere to assess students’ knowledge and see what course material needs additional attention.
It would be even better if all schools, including North Scott, allowed students to use their cell phones for any assignment or assessment. A world’s worth of information is now at our fingertips, anytime and anywhere. If we permitted students to instantly look up any low-level factual recall knowledge - like we adults do daily in the real world - wouldn't this force schools to employ better, more complex assessments that got at higher levels of understanding? I think it might!
Kudos to North Scott High for starting the journey of figuring out how to integrate into classroom instruction and assessment the powerful mobile computers that their students carry with them every day. Now, is it ready for the next step? Is your school?
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