If you’re a parent, teacher, or student, you probably won’t be surprised by these statistics: In schools that permit cell phones, 71 percent of students text during class. In schools that ban cell phones entirely, the percentage is nearly as high: 58 percent. And whether they’re in school or not, half of teens send over 50 text messages per day.
While we frequently hear teachers and parents complaining about these statistics, not all adults see these numbers as a bad thing. In fact, a small but growing number of educators are exploring how cell phones might be used to help students learn more and learn better.
Kevin Thomas taught high school english for 15 years and is currently a professor at the Bellarmine School of Education. He regularly uses cell phones as a teaching tool.
Marc Prensky is an education and technology expert and the author of “Teaching Digital Natives” and the forthcoming book “Brain Gain: Technology and the Quest for Digital Wisdom.”