Friday, April 29, 2005


Not The Right Call

Oh well, I was going to post about the beautiful artwork in our hallways and was distracted when I saw one of our darling students with a small phone/video device in his hand. Our policy is that phones are not visible and off limits during school hours. So after I told him to put the phone away (I guess I should have taken it. But it's Friday) I thought deeper about this issue of Phone Use and other Gadgets In Friday rant. I will add that our students are permitted to sit in our Libra/Tech centers which is a Free Listening zone; so we're not completely electronicLESS. I actually implemented the Free Listening Zone as a way to "give a little" to our upper class students and it's worked out pretty well, for the most part. The cell phone issue is another HIGHLY DEBATABLE PAIN that has a true CALLING of ITS OWN. It's amazing when you think of all of the possibilities to consider with today's cellular phones and the endless capabilities being wired throughout the schools: cheating, emabarrasing others, privacy violations, posting pictures of your class on the web (all of this is easy to do). These little phones are HUGE! And the worst part is (you ready?) you never will really know if you are the subject of the tiny lens in the phone that is the size of your palm. Or, when a giggle in class turns out with you being the subject of the joke. Anyway, I am trying to research the legality of whether students (or anyone) can tape someone else without prior consent. I am really not sure what the law is. But what I did find was the story Teacher freaks out about National Anthem, with Video out of Brick Township, NJ. How did I miss this one? Many issues abound in this story. One being, should a teacher yell to the top of his lungs at his students for not standing during the Pledge? And another issue which is, should students videotape their teachers without their knowledge? There are many violations here and I am not too sure what the answers are. I do know that these issues need to be addressed very openly and aggressively before you read it in the newspapers. Or...on the web. Think about how something could be taken out of context in the classroom and spread all over, without knowing the full story. A little food for thought.

camera cell phones in school
"The issue of camera-capable cell phones is becoming a major problem in schools around the globe. This is a problem not only for high schools, but is working its way through all ages and grade levels."

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