Two teachers, Lisa Nielsen and Willyn Webb, have united to coauthor a book, Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning. Fighting the ongoing battle of cell phone classroom bans, Webb has integrated cell phone use to enhance her instruction. She silently pushed the restrictions by adding cell phone activities in her lessons, and quickly found them to be engaging tools for her students. Her successful implementation eventually won over her principal.
Nielsen’s obstacles are greater in a citywide, school cell phone ban imposed by local government. Nielsen argues that schools are missing out on the resources available on the web, many of which can bridge the digital divide between the haves and the have-not schools. She identifies Poll Everywhere as one of those resources that schools can be substituting for expensive clicker response systems. She also has found administrative uses for cell phones.
This article reminds us that teachers are looking for innovative and creative ways to provide instruction daily. Cell phones are a practical means to achieve that goal. Allowing teachers to incorporate them in lessons provides another way to increase student achievement and empower teachers.