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Cell Phones in Education




                    Marisa Hilton
                    Brock Armour
             Yendu-Sonu Sambiani
               November 28, 2007
                    ISTC 201.005
                 Professor Knode
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                                       Abstract

This paper gives background information on cell phones. It goes on to explain how cell

phones became prominent in this generation. It explains how internet has become an

essential part of society and how the cell phone, with the internet, so that one can also be

on the run, is a force to be reckoned with. It explains the positive aspects of cell phones in

education. Games, date books, and calculators are used to explain how each is good for

education. It explains the various problems that cell phones cause in the classroom,

cheating being the most prominent. Cheating with cell phones are easy with text

messaging, which was also named as an advantage, so text messaging, like most things,

could be good and bad.
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                              Cell Phones in Education

       Technology is becoming a lot more common these days, and making life easier.

So easy, that people don’t have jobs anymore. Cells phones are prominent as well, and

the various programs that they are now using in cell phones make cell phones an

interesting thing to study. Cell phones have calculators, date books, games, text

messaging, mp3 players, the internet, and even a GPS tracking device! These are not the

only things on cell phones, but are the ones mostly used. Cell phones are also used to

educate. Most of the applications on cell phones have a purpose in education. Cell phones

have become very prominent in the coming years, and there are positive and negative

aspects.

       Internet is a powerful and insightful tool. Through the internet, one can do

anything: pay bills, shop, etc. Before cell phones were invented to carry the internet, the

drawback to the internet had been to sit down to use it. It took people away from

everyday activities. Before the cell phone movement in the late 1800s, people were using

“call boxes” and telegraphs, which were not really effective in case of emergencies

(Levinson, 6). In 1876, a guy named Alexander Graham Bell came up with the “Bell

telephone.” (Levinson, 6). It was invented so people could have access to each other at all

times. Then, the cell phone did not come with a lot of different applications. Its only

function was a talking device. Once the internet hit the mobile phone, it became a

powerful tool. “In the 1980s, as computers rapidly became smaller, faster, cheaper, and

with larger capacities, the information and telecommunications industries became more

intertwined (Fukukawa, 86). Now, people could get out of their seats to enjoy the

freedom of surfing the internet on the go. No longer would people have to sit to enjoy the
                                                                     Cell Phones in Education 4


benefits of the internet. Through the internet, people could access different applications,

which lead to the evolution of cell phones. Cell phones evolve over time, based on what

humans need most. Cell phones are a good thing to use, and definitely are good for

education.

        There are advantages to using the cell phone in education. Cell phones were not

always accepted as a good thing though. More than a decade after many school systems

and states prohibited students from carrying and using pagers and cellular phones in

schools, state lawmakers and administrators were rethinking their positions. The

widespread use of the devices and parents' concerns about their children's safety were

prompting new policies that allowed student use under strict guidelines. One example is

the proliferation of cellular phones in society is the anxiety after the September 11

terrorist attacks (Roberto, 7).

        The attacks were prompting some school systems and states to rethink their

campus bans on the devices. Some states -- such as Maryland and Virginia -- lifted their

bans prior to September 11, in response to the widespread use of phones by youths. These

states now allow school districts to draft their own policies. “Some of the students told

their parents it was hard to reach them [on September 11] because all the public phones

were in use and they were not allowed to carry cell phones,” (Ellen, 2), says Marge

Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the New York City Board of Education (Glenn, 6). Now

the chancellor is looking into changing the policy because they want students to be able

to reach their parents in the event of an emergency. When cell phones were banned, it

was bad, but luckily people recognized the good that these little mobile devices do for

educating children.
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       There are valid reasons for kids to have cell phones: Nowadays, cell phones are

very popular. Nearly everyone has one. “Wireless networking …devices… are enabling

students to exchange data quickly and accurately…” (DiGiano, et al., 284). Text

messaging definitely makes it easier to get and receive information. That is always a

good thing. The cell phone has so many functions, that its name shouldn’t be the cell

phone anymore. We like talking on cell phones, and playing games. Games, specifically,

are very good for education. Different elements in game playing teach people all the time.

This is why games are good for education. Rules are the first element, which is very

important. (Schwabe, and Goth, 205). The rules of the games tell players exactly how to

play to excel, and win. This element teaches organizational skills. If the rules are not

followed correctly, then one would lose. Goals and objectives are also just as important

(Schwabe, and Goth, 205). Through the goals and objectives, players learn to task plan.

Every person needs a game plan in order to win.

       Another educational game playing strategy is conflict and challenge (Schwabe,

and Goth, 205). People are naturally completive, and when presented with some sort of

challenge, they want to come out on top. This teaches people to always strive for the best.

Games are not the only educational tool on phones. Calculators are good for calculating

math especially when one is terrible in it. Date books organize your day. Cell phones can

help us organize our daily plans. They can remind us of meetings, duties etc. Cell phones

are like a computer with the ultimate technology on them, and it’s portable. Cell phones

help people communicate with others wherever they are. If necessary, we can ask

someone for help anytime we want. Cell phones are information sources. With the

internet applications, we can read news from country and world sport news, interesting
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facts and other. Basically we can access anything we want on the run, which is always

nice. Although cell phones we originally banned for a short period of time, now, many

families consider them and pagers basic equipment.

       Although cell phones do have numerous positive affects, there are also negative

affects. Cellular phones have become a growing problem for teachers and administrators

because many students are using them for all the wrong reasons. Almost every high

school and university student has and uses a cell phone on a regular basis, even during

the academic schedule. The problem with cell phones is that they are so difficult to

monitor, at any given time a student can send a silent message to a classmate without

anyone seeing or hearing it. One can see how that during a test this could easily cause an

out brake in cheating. Students have found out ways to bring text messaging, instant

messenger, and picture text into testing environments in the hopes to get that highly

anticipated A. Before cell phones students could write brief notes on their hand, write a

select number of notes on a single piece of paper, or if they were lucky get a glimpse at

another students test. But now “camera phones can take and transmit pictures of the test

or send …messages to request or provide answers” to another student sitting across the

classroom (Fussel, 1). The advancement of technology and the intuition of students who

are using this to cheat have far surpassed the teacher’s ability to effectively control the

once founded ethical goals of students.

       So how does it really work? Unfortunately there are so many scenarios that this

could be written about forever, but for the sake of argument lets use the very recent

University of Maryland scandal. Test-takers brought their cell phones to class and during

the test they would use text messaging to ask a friend outside of the class, someone who
                                                                     Cell Phones in Education 7


was by a computer the questions on the test. The friend outside of the class would then

look up the answer on the Internet; and then send the text message back to the friend who

was currently taking the test. During this process not once did the teacher hear or see

them using their cell phones. But to these students own fault they were already suspected

offenders of cheating and the bogus answers posted on the teachers website matched

perfectly to those individuals test. And the reason the school knows they were sending

text is because the teacher post the answers to his exam as soon as the test are handed out.

Further more, it goes far beyond the use of having a friend near a computer, most of the

cell phones bought today have the Internet built into them. All new phones are “cheating

tools that make writing on the side of your arm seem like child’s play” (Relerford, 1).

And this is so evident because cell phones are so prominent in everyday life now, it is

estimated that over 80% of the youth today have and use cell phones. It’s scary to think

that there is a chance that almost 80% of our youth have the potential to cheat on a

regular basis.

       Setting the cheating aspect aside there is another issue at hand, the issue of cell

phones being an interruption to ones ability to learn. Despite the select few that pay

attention and try extremely hard in school, there is a majority of students who would

prefer to socially text and chat with friends, further adding to the problem of students not

paying attention. But how does one get around the fact that “cell phones… are integral

parts of their everyday lives,” and keeping students from using them in class (Kilgore 3).

The major problem to date is the fact that most students lack the respect and control to

find the right and wrong time to use their cell phones; therefore they have become the

leading interruption in the classroom.
                                                                      Cell Phones in Education 8


       Cell phones have become very prominent in the coming years, and there are

positive and negative aspects. Cell phone gave applications on the phones that are good.

Text messaging is good for faster responses. Interactive games teach people

organizational skills, following rules, and task planning. Cell phones are also a way to

stay in contact at all times. Cheating with text messaging is a negative effect of cell

phones on education. The ease of sending a text message and cheating is demonstrated

with the example from the University of Maryland with the cheating students. Overall,

the positive aspects of cell phones in education outweigh the negative, so cell phones are

mostly good for education.
                                                                 Cell Phones in Education 9



                                 References

DiGiano, C. et al. (2003). Conceptual tools for planning for the wireless
      classroom. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 19 (3) 284-297,
      December 4, 2007. Academic Search Premier: EBSCO.

Ellen, R. (2002, January 2). Schools, States Review Cell Phone Bans. Retrieved January
        2, 2002 from School issues articles <http://www.education-world.com>

Fukukawa, Shinji. (2001). The IT revolution in Japan: Past, Present and Future.
     Asia- Pacific Review. 8(1). December 4, 2007. Academic Search Premier:
     EBSCO.

Fussell, J. (2005). High Tech Tools Assist Today’s Student Cheaters.
      Kansas City Star. December 4, 2007.

Glenn, E (2002, March 26). Number of cell phones in the US. Retrieved March 26, 2002
       from the Physics fact book <http://hypertextbook.com>

Kilgore, S. (2004). Bridges from Connect Experts to Novice Learners
      in 21st Century Classrooms. Rocky Mountain Review. 63
      December 4, 2007. Washington State University.

Levinson, P. (2002). Cell phone: the story of the world’s most mobile
      medium and how it has transformed everything. New
      York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Relerford, P. (2005). Tools to Learn- Or to Cheat. Star Tribute
      Minneapolis. December 4, 2007.

Roberto, S. (2006, November 11). Benefits of using a cell phone. Retrieved November
       11, 2006, from Buzzle.com articles <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/benefits-of-
       using-a-cell-phone.html>

Schwabe, G, and Göth, C. (2005). Mobile learning with a mobile game: design
     and motivational effects. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(3)
     204-216. December 4, 2007. Academic Search: EBSCO.

				
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