Beyond Banning: Rules for Classroom Use of Cell Phones

Posted: September 4, 2008 in cell_phone, mobilebrowsing, mobilelearning, tools

I’ve spent some time in this blog looking at practical applications of mobile technologies in today’s classrooms.  While looking at theoretical ideas helps to frame conversations and direct one’s focus, practical ideas help to bring theoretical ideas to life. In this spirit, I would like to share some ideas about establishing classroom rules for cell phone use.

While reading through my Twitter feed today, I came across a discussion between Liz Kolb and Darren Draper concerning classroom rules around the use of cell phones during class time. In that discussion, Liz stated 5 rules that she uses to govern cell phone use in her class.  With her permission, I reproduce those rules here for others who may be considering ways they could incorporate cell phones in teaching and learning.  The rules are:

Rule #1: Cell phone ringers must always be kept on vibrate mode (credit for this rule given to Dean Shareski and his school).

Rule #2: Cell phones must be kept at the front of the class, away from all students, when they are not being used as a class.

Rules #3: All media and messages must be course related.

Rule #4: All media published about others must first be approved by them.

Rule #5: No message/media is private – all messages can be accessed at any time.

In addition, Liz stated that both the students and their parents sign a contract promising to abide by these rules and that using services such as Flickr mobile, Utterz, Gcast and Jott helps teachers ensure that students are on task as these services keep histories of messages.

What are your thoughts?  Can you think of other rules that would work?


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