I used to be a massive advocate of using mobile phones in lessons; the ways they could be used are just endless. I had students use them to research topics; find the answers to a question we didn’t know, even as voting devices. I used them just rarely enough that students didn’t take it as a given and rarely tried to use their phones for uses other than I intended. I even use them to avoid printing off sheet after sheet of homework, instead having students take a picture on their phone (with the added bonus that they can’t lose the sheet).
However I recently saw the side that I was always warned about, what happens when a student doesn’t have a very good phone, will they be ridiculed by their peers or just embarrassed? My theory was that students could work in pairs, so only one had to get their phone out, or I would lend out a school iPad. Despite this, I still had a student very upset over a comment about their phone and it’s left me with a sense of disparity.
Do I persevere due to the many upsides of using phones or do I scale back?
This ‘In Brief’ article originally appeared in the August 2016 edition of UKEdMagazine. Click here to freely read online.
@MsGlynn2014 Teacher of Mathematics – London