5 Myths about Smartphones in the Classroom

Oct 3
nclass new age learners

5 Myths about Smartphones in the Classroom

1. They’re nothing but trouble

One of the worst mistakes a school can make: telling students NOT to use the powerful computers they keep in their pockets. At a time when schools struggle with budgetary restraints, it just makes sense to allow students to use their own tools to collaborate, quickly look up facts, graph equations, add homework assignments to their calendars and much more.

2. They’re a distraction

While smart phones certainly have the capability to distract through text messages and games, so do pen and paper–after all nothing stops students from passing notes and doodling–yet, few schools aim to ban these tools because they are important classroom assets. However, smart phones can also be incredible assets to class. There are plenty of smartphone apps, like nClass, that promote productivity and focus in the classroom. With nClass, students can report their level of comprehension in real time. You can do a quick pulse check of the class instead of hearing a Yes/No only from the frequent participants. if your students are finding something confusing, you’ll know in minutes and not during the mid-term.

3. They make it hard to have class discussions

If you strip down a phone to its basic functions, they serve one purpose: communications. Smart phones simply give you more than one avenue to communicate. Sure this means side discussions are possible, but it also allows a new form of communications using the customized apps and web based applications. With nClass, students can contribute to discussion by sending comments to the class via their smart phones, or digitally “raise their hand” when they are ready to speak. This allows for less chaotic discussions where even introverted students can be heard. Every student communicates differently, and nClass provides a means to accomodate the diverse styles – introverts, students with langauge limitations or cultural considerations.

4. They promote cheating

While having handheld access to an internet connection can certainly facilitate cheating, banning smart phones in class doesn’t necessarily stop students from using them when they shouldn’t. It does, however, make smartphone use more transparent. After all, when students keep their phones on their desks, you can better monitor students’ cell phone behavior. In addition, the teacher can establish cell phone use policies while in the classroom.

5. Students only like them because they help them chat during class

Today’s students are digital natives. They love smart phones because they’re comfortable with mobile technology and the power of an all-in-one device. Some classes force students to buy bulky clickers as their digital classroom tools, but these are difficult to use, easy to forget, batteries die when they are most needed. With nClass, students use the technology they love to use, inside the classroom. Not to mention, today’s students use smartphones as their primary social tool, so you can count on them to take better care of them and not part with them.

Do you know any mobile-learning myths? Post them in the comments.

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