Another dot in the blogosphere?

Phone enlightenment

Posted on: June 3, 2017

One can learn much from painful events.

Case in point: My wife just had extensive oral surgery and the surgeon needed a good light source. The proper light was not good enough, so he told an assistant to use his iPhone’s flash as a torch.

The phone light was not just useful in a pinch. It was better than the tool that was designed to throw light into an oral cavity. So the unofficial and unsanctioned tool just made sense.

If you think about it, we use our phones in our daily lives for so many functions that used to require separate tools, e.g., GPS for a car, camera for snapshots, media player for your commute or run, etc.

It no longer makes sense for most people to have a separate and standalone tool when one Swiss Army knife-like tool is small, light, and oh-so-useful. It also helps that this new Swiss Army knife is better than the old tools.

But mention using phones in many classrooms today and they still tend to be treated with caution, suspicion, or fear.

Phones in the context outside most classrooms have basic but essential utility. If the excuse is that the classroom is unlike what it outside of it, then just how relevant and connected is that classroom?

The classroom of today does not just need torch (flash) lights, cameras, or media players. It requires wall breakers in the form of Web browsers, social media and communication apps, and publishing tools. These create opportunities for context and authentic issues to enter classrooms.

If you say that phones are a distraction in the classroom, then you are retreating further into the hole you have dug there. Let me share my phone with you. It has a torch and a Web browser. Both will shed light on why phones belong inside a classroom if you are use them well.


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