Schools fight losing battle against cell phones

Since their arrival in schools, cell phones have been a source of annoyance, concern, and even scandal in cases involving a small number of Utah students, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. But while school administrators experience occasional heartburn over how creatively students might use their cell phones, some believe the time has come for teachers and school staff to work with technology used by students, not against it. At this month’s meeting of the Utah Board of Education, board member Teresa Theurer warned fellow board members against restrictions on cell phones that might prove counterproductive as they craft a model policy regarding cell phones in schools. Theurer said her son’s English teacher at Logan High School has found ways to incorporate cell phone text messaging and e-mail into lessons and assignments that engage students to a remarkable degree. Assignments are sent as text messages or eMail attachments, Theurer said. She’s also read accounts of teachers who use students’ cell phones to "text" a class discussion, rather than discuss a topic in class. "If you want to get a message to a teenager, you send a text message," Theurer said. "We need to incorporate what’s going on in the world. We can’t turn our backs on what’s happening, because it’s not all bad…"

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