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11 Tips for Managing Phone Use in Classroom
Today, kids of about 10-years are allowed to receive their first cell-phones and these phones tend to quickly find their way into classrooms. Although cell-phones have great potential for improving on the learning-process, they can also become a hindrance in classrooms by simply diverting attention away from learners. So, teachers need to harness the learning potential their students with phones while also preventing them from being a distraction. In fact, teacher should consider implementing a proactive management plan developed in collaboration with the students at the beginning of the school year on how to control the use of cell-phones in classroom. All in all, classroom management is a challenging skill that should be improve on a regular basis and below are some of the methods you can use to manage a technological rich classroom today.
Tips and Methods That Can Be Used To Manage Phone-Use in Classrooms:
- Use Supervision Software: Supervision Software is not a new concept and today new-software like Casper Focus have been developed for use on iPads and other tablets in-order to allow teachers to monitor and control the screens of students mobile-devices. So, if you’re getting a hard-time managing mobile-devices for your students then consider implementing this software but it works perfectly for children in lower-classes but it’s very hard to use supervision-software to control mobile devices of students in higher-classes.
- Establish New Norms: Establishing new-norms controlling the use of cell-phones in classroom can actually help teachers manage their students well during lessons. For example, when classroom begins students should put their devices volume-off and screens down in the corner of their desks and when it’s time to use their devices, a teacher can simply say “Screens-Up” and then students can use their mobile-devices.
- Walk Around and Arrange Desks: The other best way of managing your student tablet use is by implementing the “Two Feet, Two Eyes” app which means that you walk around your classroom and monitor activity the old-fashioned way. In fact, the proximity control can work just as well for tablet use as it does for controlling other student behaviors. On the other hand, you can consider how desks are arranged in-order to make supervision easier.
- Treat Devices as Learning Tools: If teachers treat their students’ mobile-devices as learning-tools, the perception of use of phones in classroom also changes. In fact, students will begin recognizing the value of their devices for research and exploration purposes while in classroom which is a great thing. All in all, treating mobile-devices as learning-tools helps to shift mobile-devices from potential distractions to tools that engage students under a classroom environment.
- Set Expectations and Consequences for use of phones in classroom: This is actually a classroom management 101 Act that helps to provide teachers with advice on what to-do if a student’s comes with mobile-device in classroom. For example, this Act helps students rethink their expectations and repercussion if they bring in phones, what a teacher does when mobile-device constantly distracts a student, what a teacher does if a student forgets their device or if it runs out of battery and what will be considered acceptable or unacceptable use at any given moment?
- Use a Phone Cubby to store Phones: If your students are taking a quiz or exam, you should consider using a phone-cubby to neatly store their mobile-devices. Additionally, you should let students know that they must put anything with a screen in the cubby during tests or exams or else they face serious punishments if caught with mobile-devices during testing.
- Let Students “Get the Giggles Out”: As a teacher, you should often give your students some time to “get the giggles out” by simply giving them 2 minutes to say hello to all of their friends by using software like Today’s Meet to do a Backchannel on their mobile-devices and using iMovie on iPad to encourage them to make one silly video before they delve into the assignment. This will actually help students get past the initial excitement so that they can be more focused when doing assignments in classroom.
- Make students Abide by the School Policy: Teachers can also consider creating a “Device-Prison” box where naughty devices have to spend some period. Additionally, teachers can also ask the school tech department to revoke access to distracting channels but you should avoid consequences that involve the student losing complete access to the device for long periods of time since this tends to make them feel desperate while at school.
- Encourage Sharing of mobile-devices: Teachers should create a culture of sharing mobile-devices in a classroom because this helps to encourage collaboration between students. In fact, sharing helps to eliminate gap between the haves and have not’s. Additionally, sharing of mobile-devices helps students to learn, ask-questions and even get great discussions under a classroom environment.
- Tell students to place devices flat on the Desk: If students tilt their mobile-device up, down or have then squished into their laps, then they are probably hiding the screen away from you. So, to fix this you will have to make your students place their students flat on the desk while in use because this makes them more accountable for their actions and allows you to monitor their phone-usage more readily.
- Connect Students with Educational Apps: Teachers should encourage students with devices to download different apps to use both inside and outside of the classroom. This will help students to understand how to leverage apps for learning and overtime they develop the ability to evaluate a situation and select the best app or tech tool for a given task. Lastly, using a variety of apps with students cultivates technology fluency and lets students learn new things easily.