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21st Century Schools Who Give Detention for Cell Phones?

Written by Sheila Cooperman
February 01, 2012

Technology standards notwithstanding, often lip service is paid to the need to educate our 21st Century students when there lived-lives of technological competence and comfort are ignored, or worse, are not recognized during the hours that school is in session. With the exponential growth of technology and the ease with which our students can access the platforms, when cell phones are seen in the hall–they are confiscated and taken away. When cell phones are seen again–a second offense–their owners are given detentions. When students are involved with active reading, but are not allowed to access their e-books through their phones, i-pads, i-pods or any other available i-like products, what are we really saying as educators. Technology is good before 7:30 and after 3:00 only? Reading can take place from conventional sources? Technology has no place in education? Collaborative learning and community building can not exist in a vacuum that recognizes only the teachers’ realities. Students’ realities included and incorporates multiple forms of media and communication. Not recognizing, accepting and harnessing the power of the digital lives of our students creates major disconnects between the educators and those we are charged to educate. Practice in the schools needs to keep up with practice in life.