The final round of “The Great Edtech Debate” was brought to you by yours truly, and Darrian. I may be biased, but I felt that this was the most heated debate as there were strong and compelling points being made by both sides.
I will not spend much time discussing my opening argument as it can be viewed here but I would like to go over some of my main points. I argued that if a cellphone ban is put in place, parents will insist that they need to be able to contact their child via their cellphone at all times. I also argued that when cellphone bans are put in place, they do not prevent most students from using their phones at school. Moreover, the use of cellphones in class helps “fill in the gap” when classrooms have a low supply of laptops. Further, I believe cellphones are a huge part of students’ lives outside of school and therefore, it is important that they are being taught how to be responsible cellphone users and are given the space to learn and practice when it is appropriate to be on your phone, and when it is not.
Conversely, in her opening argument, Darrian argued that students are cellphone addicts and allowing phones in school is feeding their addiction. She also argued that they are a huge distraction for students and a classroom management issue. Additionally, banning cellphones would reduce the bullying that occurs at school.
However, Darrian believes a simple ban of cellphones would not be enough; a widespread ban of cellphone use on school property would be ideal to address these issues around cellphone misuse.
Throughout the debate, our classmates got heavily involved and offered some great insight. As a class, we struggled with issues such as parent push-back and the losing battle against cell-phone use. Darrian and I both got asked questions we did not necessarily have an answer for. I did not know what to say when Darrian asked me how I would teach responsible cellphone use and she could not outline a clear method of how she would police a wide-spread ban of cellphones. I think this is because we were asking questions that teachers have not found the answers to yet. I feel that the opinionated nature of this debate was due to how relevant the topic is to all of us. The issue of monitoring cellphone use will certainly be faced by each one of us as teachers, in our placements and our careers. Thus, it is important to develop our own philosophy towards their place (if any) in our future classrooms and how we plan to monitor or control their use.