Handheld Devices in Classrooms

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Many schools are now looking towards cell phones as both a positive and effective teaching method for students. Living in the twenty-first century, we have all been witnesses to the power that the internet possesses when used as a learning tool, and now many schools, colleges and high schools both are coming to term with this fact. Over the past few years sales for cell phones that posses data capabilities have dramatically increased. Cellular devices such as the IPhone and a wide variety of Android phones are very popular among students.

If allowed to be used, these phones can connect with the internet and allow students to instantly look up the definition of a biological term or visually see a picture of a cell; virtually anything that a student might need, this can further aid in the learning process. This technology has the potential to offer students a lot when it comes to education, cell phones in classrooms and colleges also come with many drawbacks.

Many of us use the internet to help us learn or better understand something we aren’t clear about or in need of helpful information in everyday life. So why not have this ability in classrooms? Many students find it easier to look up something in class as the professor continues to lecture and in many cases this is an effective tool in learning. Many students are “visual learners” and through actively observing whatever it is that he or she is learning about, students can better recall information at a later time. “I’ve used my cell phone in Spanish class before as a translator and it was really helpful. We have also used our cell phones in Biology class recently to look up images of different types of molecules,” says student Jaimi Phillip a senior at NYIT.

Another key aspect that cell phones can now offer students is that they can download and read textbooks. This almost completely eliminates the need for a physical textbook, students can, with just a touch, download and open almost any textbook they might need in school, instead of carrying heavy books around; technology is making out lives a lot easier.”I think technology is something we need to incorporate into everything we do, especially since it makes our lives a lot easier. Students are able to take advantage of applications designed to organize assignment calendars, foreign language translation, calculators and electronic textbooks,” says NYCOM graduate student Vinay Kudur. Phones even have an application for Blackboard, an online homework service that many professors use as part of their class.

With the many benefits that cell phones offer us there are also many downsides, the key one being that cell phones are often a cause of distraction among students. Texting is just one of the many problems that keeps many students occupied in class and prevents them from paying attention to a lecture. Nowadays with the internet available with just a tap of the finger, these distractions are becoming even more serious of a problem. Cell phones today offer us many benefits, from organizational applications to the internet and even textbooks. It is up to us to harness the full potential of what is available to us. Although these cell phones can help many students better learn and recall information they are also a source of distraction in many schools today. If given the permission to use cell phones as an educational source in the classroom by professors we need to make the most of this opportunity.

With some direction students can learn to use their cell phones within class as a powerful learning tool. The technology with which we live today is daily impacting our lives, it is up to us to harness this technology to better equip ourselves to succeed both in college and later on. Cell phones allow us to read textbooks, look up various sorts of information and even serve as organizational tools with the use of various applications available. By using these devices we can better succeed in the future.

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