Friday, September 5, 2008

Cell phones used as an educational tool?

Coming into college, we all know to expect a cell phone policy much similar to the ones we had in high school. That is, no cell phone use during class. Period. Most recently my friend, who attends Abilene Christian University, tells how cell phones have actually held a place in their campus' learning environment. More particularly, the iphone 3G has been handed out to "two-thirds of this year's entering class of 950 freshmen." Much to my surprise I discovered that not only are the students expected to use the phones, but professors as well have been given iphones in order to "keep up with attendance" in class.

Is this really necessary? Its a mystery where these expenses came from. The smart phones could potentially take the place of laptops in the classroom for reasons such as the lack of communication between the professor and student and also because of how much cheaper an iphone would be. In the near future smart phones might play a role in a our general education at

Should this project be installed at SMU and/or other universities?


cec said...

This is amazing to me, but I do recall seeing an article about a college where everyone was given an iphone. If you could find the article you are quoting and add a link to it in your post, it would help fill us all in on this interesting topic.

thinkagain said...

I don't know how I feel about the use of cellphones as part of class. Honestly, I think using technology for education is certaintly better than using it for pointless entertainment, but it does seem very impersonal, doesn't it?

But more to the point, I think the expense that handing out smart phones to students would incur is outrageous. It's one thing to have free computers available to use around campus, but this seems more excessive.

Littlecoe4 said...

Wow I am not sure how I feel about this. It is scary to think that the technological world has come so far. To the point where a device used for communication has overtaken the computer itself. I find it hard to believe that there are many colleges in the U.S. that are supporting the use of a smart phone as a substitute for the computer. As for SMU, I don't think this would be the best option. But could one day be an alternative.

Rochelle said...

Wow, I thought all of this posting homework on blackboard and using that site for information and communication was a great idea, but in my opinion that is as far as we should go with classroom technology for now. I think the office hours and school emailing system is a good enough communication method and we should just concentrate on putting in the work ourselves and not get too caught up on pushing the technology envelope.

Maybe in the future smart phones might be a useful classroom tool, but personally I could go without the extra expense for now.

This is a really interesting topic. Do you have a link to the article you quoted?