Messenger Mobile devices as teaching tools are becoming a more and more common part of the American education experience in classrooms, from preschool through graduate school. Those teachers are building that tech-savviness into their lesson plans, too, by embracing bring-your-own-device policies and leading the push for an iPad for every student. What do these mobile devices really add, though?
Messenger Mobile phones have become ubiquitous in Africa. Among younger users, basic phones are most common. But more pupils are accessing smartphones that can connect to the internet — and taking them along to school.
Although they can enable valuable access to information, they also bring new responsibilities and dangers. Access to pornography as well as bullying and harassment through phones is widely reported.
Before the mobile phone arrived in Africa, few people had access to landlines. The mobile phone represents far more of a communication revolution in Africa than in richer countries.
Use in school has emerged as a leading issue, echoing concerns around the world. We conducted more than 1, face-to-face interviews and focus groups with young people, teachers, parents and key community members across 24 locations — eight in each country. These varied from poor city neighbourhoods to remote rural hamlets.
We followed this up with a questionnaire to about 3, young people aged between nine and 18 and 1, young people aged between 19 and 25 in the same 24 locations. The survey of children aged nine to 18 years shows that mobile phone use is much higher than ownership figures might suggest.
Ownership of phones was lowest in Malawi, the poorest of the three countries.
Children often borrow phones from each other, their parents, other family members and neighbours. But the positive benefits mostly seem to be limited to mundane tasks such as contacting friends to check on homework or using the phone as a calculator.
Much information from pupils and teachers was more negative: Now, for those with smartphones, messaging on WhatsApp or checking Facebook have become common classroom activities.
Pupils are rarely given such an opportunity to comment on the behaviour of those in authority over them but even if not all were truthful, these figures are of concern. Many head teachers also spoke about the problem of teacher phone use, saying they found it difficult to regulate.
Other problems include disturbing levels of pupil bullying and harassment. This was almost equally true for boys and girls.
Distribution and viewing of pornography is also widespread, as older boys were often willing to disclose. A few — even primary school pupils — mentioned sexting.
Promoting responsible phone use in school Many head teachers have asked us how to promote responsible phone use in school. Here are some suggestions: It is important to have a clear school policy on pupil phone use, to inform parents about this and to explain the reasoning behind it.
If the school has decided to allow pupils to bring their mobile phone to school — for instance, because of travel problems — but not to use it in school, then pupils could be required to put a name tag on their phone and deposit it with a staff member, using a register, before school begins.
In this case parents or carers must be given a phone number for urgent messages. Pupils also need reminders not to publish personal information on the internet and to tell their teacher, a parent or carer if they access any information that worries them.FAITH | LEARNING | COMMUNITY.
In the way of Jesus, St Joseph’s Catholic High School aspires to respect and celebrate the dignity of all. Inspired by the life of St Joseph, the school promotes a culture of faith, justice and service.
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Mobile devices as teaching tools are becoming a more and more common part of the American education experience in classrooms, from preschool through graduate school.