This AP story gets to the heart of the tension between school policies about bringing in technology such as cellphones and iPods and the ubiquitous nature of those gadgets, which I talked a little about last Friday.
Educators in Minneapolis are beginning to refine school policies about cellphones in the classroom from an all out ban to an out-of-sight rule in order to accommodate the growing number of students who have them and the demand from parents to be able to reach their children at all times. Not all schools in the district have the same view on the cellphone policy, and many are still working to find the best fit between what teachers, students, and parents want, but I think it's important to keep these kinds of conversations open as technology continues to evolve.
While I was reading this story, it occurred to me that text messaging is the modern equivalent of note passing for this generation of students. And just as my teachers learned to curtail note passing without banning pencils or paper, this generation's crop of teachers may have to focus on controlling behavior without taking away cell phones—which both parents and students have determined are just as essential to have as paper and pencils.
Does your school or district have a policy about cellphones in the classroom? Has that policy changed in the past few years, or do you anticipate that it will be revisited in the future?