This blog is being written from my cell phone as I try to find some way to assess a students journal writing by letting them use a cell phone.
As some of us begin our walk through digital tools and what they can bring to our classroom, others are still crawling. The reality is technology is here to stay and we need to embrace something as simple as a cell phone and use it to our advantage as teachers.
I believe there are too many restrictions put into place by schools across the nation when it comes to cell phones. They need to be off, put in lockers, or left at home. I even heard about a school where if a student was caught with a cell phone, it was thrown into a fish tank full of water. Now, I don’t know exactly how much truth there is to this, but nevertheless, it’s out there.
Last year I allowed my students to use cell phones when they did their journal writing 2 days a week. When I implemented this into my classroom towards the end of the year, the response was overwhelming. Students were engaged to the fullest and they were genuinely excited about journaling.
In response to this I required students to respond to each others text messages. Again, they couldn’t get enough of the fact they could use their cell phones in class.
The problem was assessing an electronic journal of sorts. How could I monitor what they were writing or give them any kind of response when I was only viewing text messages as I walked around the room. I was not about to give my personal cell phone number to my students.
Even though it has been a slightly long road to finding an answer about assessing my students texts, I have found a solution. I have found that students can use blogging sites such as WordPress or Blogger and students can access an application for their cell phones so they can “text” or “blog” if you will.
So, let the journey begin and let’s see what happens and how many adjustments I may need to make.