On Friday I was facilitating an all-day session on the use of technology to enhance teaching. As the session coordinator introduced me, she said to the group "Please make sure your mobile phones are turned off." I'm sure you've heard that before, it seems to be a common part of many presentation openers these days. Why?
How are our we using our mobile phones? Today's mobile of choice for our students, the iPhone, certainly isn't used very often to make "plain old telephone calls"! It's a powerful ICT device, giving the user access to an extraordinary volume of human knowledge, immediately accessible at any time. Knowledge that I want in my classroom!
Not surprisingly, I told everyone to leave their phones on, and to actively use them at any stage during the session. The odd ringing phone is less of a hindrance to learning than lack of information.
And our students don't let their phones ring out loud anyway - a loud ringtone during a lecture or class is a sure sign of a digital immigrant in the room!