In higher education cell phone technology for learning and connecting with students makes undisputed sense. In fact, in 2008 Boston College decided not to give incoming students email accounts, but instead issued them forwarding addresses that students can point to any established digital identity they already have. It will be interesting to see how many students choose email services accessible by smart phone. We’re thinking it will be a big majority of students as it keeps them connected regardless of location and time.
But what about cell phones in K-12 education? A recent survey indicates that 71 percent of American students ages 12-17 own a cell phone. This is only going to increase. So why not put them to good use!? While we love the idea of using them for learning, we see a great opportunity to use them to encourage students to get to school regularly and on time.
In the first month of the GMS pilot we’ve seen a decrease in absences using cell phones to prompt students out of bed and during their route to school. A little analysis of the routes to school can identify possible locations of delays; a specific corner, the local mini-market. Then target your messages for times along the most common routes that offer the most delay potential. The best part is that it only takes one post to the social networking group to reach all students with a text message. Set up a group just for the students that have trouble getting to school regularly and text away!
We support the idea of students having cell phones. It is the other end of a very important communication channel between the school and the student.