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A lot of instructors consider banning
laptops and cell phones with their students in the classroom, but I’m
against that practice. I’d like to show you why. Hi. Welcome back to my channel.
I’m Erika from Ever Educating and in today’s new blog post, I wrote about how
you can kind of deal with problematic student behavior in the classroom. And
that blog post is linked below. But in today’s video, I want to talk a
bit more about one element of that blog post, and that’s on whether or not to let
students use cellphones and laptops in the classroom. I know that a lot of
instructors get really frustrated when students are distracted by either their
laptop or their cell phone, but I do think there’s some really great benefits
of using this tech in the classroom. So even at your classroom isn’t a computer
lab or it’s not a one-to-one scenario where every student has a laptop or a
tablet, I do think letting those who want to
bring them to class can be really helpful for certain types of activities. All right, so let’s talk about laptops first. Now, let’s say you have a group of
thirty students. It’s most likely that if you have if you’d let your students
bring a laptop or even request them to do so, you’ll get at least five or six in
the class who will bring a laptop with them. In that case, you can do small group
activities of either five groups or six groups and each group could have one
laptop at least per group. In that way, rather than constantly collecting papers
from your group and giving it back, you can just have each of them submit either
their report or their answers to their questions or the little analysis via
your LMS site rather than via paper. You don’t have to worry about losing it, you
can access it wherever you have internet. It just makes life a lot easier both for
the student and for the instructor. On the other hand, you can also do things
with Google Docs all the time or even have a shared document opened up with
anybody who has a laptop, right. In that case, even if it’s just one per group or
maybe even two per group, it’s a way for a collaborative writing to happen pretty
easily. It’s not that easy when you have no laptops in the class. Even if you’re
not using laptops in class for certain activities, I still think that it’s beneficial to allow students who want to have it on their screen on their
laptop rather than on the projector can be really beneficial to
students. So I tend to project a lot on the screen in my classroom, but I had
those who prefer to see the PowerPoint lecture for example on their own desk
rather than only in the front of the class. So if you’re worried about them
searching the web at inopportune times, have them close their laptops during those
periods but other than that you could always walk around the room and make sure
they’re being on task. So I do think there are benefits of having laptops in
the classroom both for activities you assign and just to help students who
need more of that attention to detail in their digital resources. And then the
second tool that I know a lot of teachers are frustrated with is cell
phone usage in the classroom. And yes there’s definitely those students who
are checking their text messages or going on Instagram or whatever the case may be
at their desks, right, at times you don’t want them to be. But I do think banning
them or saying you have to turn into this box in the front of the class or it
has to be in your bag it can’t be in your desk. Sure you can be that stringent, but
you might want to consider actual like beneficial usage of cellphones in the
class. So Kahoot, which is a website that I adore using for surveys and for
questionnaires for quizzes for in-class activities, it’s really great to use with
cell phones because as long as you have a smartphone connected to the Wi-Fi on
campus, every single student can take part in these activities just from their
cell phone. And if they don’t have one, they can always also share with a
partner. But I use Kahoot a lot and without cell phones it wouldn’t really
work as well so you might want to check out that website. If you don’t know it
yet, I linked it below in the description box. Even if you’re not using it for a
certain activity, I do think having cell phones can still be beneficial because
they might be looking up information for more context, I mean, that you’ve said or
let’s say they asked you a question and you don’t know the answer, someone could
be looking it up. “Who was the author of this book?” “I don’t know. why don’t you
look it up?” So you can actually have them kind of mimic using the cell phone in
beneficial ways to look up information, rather than to be you know just online
and just not paying attention. So again, with laptops the same way you can say
“hey put it away in your bag, I don’t want you being distracted right now.” That’s
not a problem. But I do think the more stringent kind of policies I’ve seen about
collecting cellphones, well then you’re kind of short changing yourself of how
you can use cell phones in the classroom for various activities or for more
contextual information. So this was just a quick video to talk about these two,
you know, technology uses that I know often instructors say “Well what’s problematic, I’m gonna have a strong policy in my syllabus against laptop and
cellphone use.” Sure you can of course do that, but I did want you to consider,
“Well, wait, you know, is there some benefits also to this technology?” And I
think there’s a lot actually that’s possible. I just gave you a really couple
of quick examples, but I’m sure you can, you know, come up with your own as well
if you give it some thought. Okay, if you want to see the rest of my post about
other types of behavior that you might have problems with and how to kind of
deal with that in the classroom, remember that my post is linked below. I also have
a few other resources that I think are connected well enough in case you want
to check those out too. If you found this video helpful, I would appreciate you
clicking the like button below. And if you want to make sure not to miss my
future teaching tips and resources, I suggest subscribing to this channel.
I’ll see you next week.

About James Carlton

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