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According to UK newspaper reports this morning (Telegraph, News of the World) Michael Gove has announced plans to ban mobile phones from school classrooms from September 2011. Further details, and a response can be found at:
The government’s guidance is due to be published in July 2011. We, the undersigned, believe that such a ban would scupper successful mobile learning initiatives and is a short-sighted, reactionary move.
We call for a mobile phone ban to be removed from any guidance published by the DfE.
Former teacher, Director of E-Learning (3-19) and currently Researcher/Analyst in FE/HE
‘Inappropriate’ is a difficult line to take and will, inevitably, lead to blanket bans by cautious headteachers.
Information Manager/Community Facilitator FE/HE
Deputy Manager Birmingham East CLC
This is like potentially banning pens & paper because of a few bad books! Students need to be shown good role models & how to use mobiles in a safe, creative way. How will this happen if they’re banned? Using mobiles in school can be hugely beneficial as obviously all of us here have seen! If any issues arise re. bullying etc this should be dealt with at school level.
Teaching Fellow, Durham University
Former teacher, currently E-Learning Consultant
Mobile is changing everything - business, commerce, social media, news, gaming, media. If education falls behind, we're failing our students and sabotaging our economy.
IT Architect, parent.of 2 children, (1 primary age, 1 secondary age).
I disagree that the government should dictate this. It should be a policy set by the Headteachers. There is a time and place for use of mobile devices in class to which the staff should have the discretion to set the policy to deliver the best benefit, because let’s be clear here, there are huge benefits that can be had by this type of technology, but the school must have the powers to flexibly manage it, NOT the government with a blanket ban.
The idea of using the term “reasonable force” suggests that there is a conflict zone and teachers are in fact like soldiers! Oh I see now why members of the armed forces will feel more at home now when they become teachers! What happened to care for young people! Gove own goal!
On the mobile phone issue this is typical of a government wanting to have control and limit use of technology in class. They should take time to look at good practice and see how mobile device support and enhance learning.
Education Consultant, Frogtrade Ltd.
We have seen great examples of the use of mobile phones in learning. In one school which uses the Frog learning platform a group of students have been given the right to use mobile phones to capture learning and upload images, videos and audio to the school VLE for others to see. This has inspired teachers across the school. These students are given this option as a privilege and use their phones responsibly.
Lecturer, PhD student
As well as the mobile phone issue, I’m worried about the general idea that Michael Gove thinks he can control students, parents, teachers in this way to enforce his shoddy doctrine.
Student Voice consultant, involver
Banning the means just pushes the problem (in this case bullying and disruption) under the carpet. Helping people learn how to use the technology productively and responsibly should be the job of a school.
Also, what was all that about trusting teachers and not micro-managing what happens in their classrooms, isn’t this exactly the opposite?
Independent social media for public good consultant
Threatens to take us back to the 19th century
We live in vastly different times. Rather than banning we need to look for ways to adapt.
Need to see some of the powerful learning taking place with mobile ‘devices’ which are much more than ‘phones.
Banning mobile devices won’t go any way to helping students understand how to use them appropriately and to their advantage. And for every negative news story concerning mobiles in schools, where is the publicity for the hundreds of thousands of children who are innovators of their time and creatively use them to further their learning?
We can use mobile phone technology constructively and effectively to develop all sorts of skills, not to mention teaching how to responsibly and usefully use mobile phones.
Researcher, International Consultant, digital content, video
Agree with all comments above, (and most below). The smart phone is much more than a phone, also such devices are continually evolving, and we should be building on their affordances, (great example listed in comments in this document). This is not the time to bury our heads in the sand.
Mobile Learning Consultant/Developer
It’s an impossible proposition - kids will not give up their phones, they rely on them. The power to ban them from schools only generates a new “offence” which suddenly the vast majority of pupils are committing irrespective of their behaviour!
I expect/require my son to take his phone to school, so that he can let me know if he has chosen to go to the park or a friend’s house afterwards. This is an important element of teaching him safety and responsibility. The only safe place for him to keep it at school is in his bag, which means it is with him in class, although he is quite properly not allowed to use it then (though I agree with other comments that there could be planned educational use of phones too). Schools already have perfectly adequate powers to set their own rules in such matters.
ICT Teacher & Parent
Ban the calculator, the biro pen... the car... every breakthrough was a breakwith... embrace not ban.
Head Of Product at Frogtrade Ltd.
Former ICT Teacher and eLearning Consultant.
This is another show that Mr Gove is trying to drive schools back to the 1960 public school system! Remove technology, get them all wearing blazers, make sure they know a lot of facts, and learn latin!
This latest Gove-ism just shows how out of touch with modern life, young people and education he is.
Most of the problem with young people using phones in schools is the fear of some teachers and politicians who are convinced that all young people will use the technology in a negative way. If we give them an opportunity to use phones in an appropriate manner in lessons then they will do. I have had people using them for years to capture evidence, set home work reminders, put their timetable in.
I think we need to challenge Mr Gove to be a bit more brave and embrace technology and have the trust that young people can be educated to use it appropriately.
I am not saying all schools should immediately allow mobiles across the board either, I just think school leaders should have the freedom to use technology if it works for the young people they are educating.
Deputy Headteacher, Paganel Primary School
Google Certified Teacher
This is just a way of discriminating against the poor. At my school (50% FSM within top 20% deprivation); most parents communicate using mobile phones - it is their way of accessing the internet and information. We are exploring ways of bringing mobile technology into the classroom to increase the links between all our stakeholders (parents, governors, staff and students particularly) and this ban will just disenfranchise students and parents, de-skill teachers and alienate governors.
ICT Tutor @Feltham CLC
Children should be able to use all the tools available to reach out for knowledge/ information. WHy not mobile phones as they are so comfortable using them?!
Mr Gove should wake up and face the reality!
Former Maths/ICT teacher.
This demonising of children and the way they learn in the 21st century has to stop. The powers contained in this bill with regard to the ability to search children are quite frightening. My advice to my children will be to lock their phones and refuse to provide the password.
If they are banned from taking them into class what are they meant to do with them?
I think it is more important to have a policy for safe use that is enforced and bought into by all staff than just to ban. A blanket ban will need to be enforced. Another job for the busy teacher!
ICT Teaching Assistant
The more advanced mobile phones become with android apps etc, the more useful they will become in the classroom. I think a ban is both short-sighted and impossible to enforce. We need to trust the students to use the tools they are used to in a constructive way.
Teacher in France
Same nonsense in France. IPads are marvellous, IPhones are devillish. (S)ame OS!
Post threshold teacher
Excellent idea to ban mobile phones from classrooms. Students can lock them away at the start of the day and access them at break times. They cause more problems than they solve.
Banning learning resources is not smart. Modelling appropriate use and critical understanding is part of the role of the school.
Senior Project Manager, the Sheffield College
mobile phones (and all mobile technology) are part of everyday life in the 21st.Century - we must educate our children to use such devices appropriatey, not lock them away and loose all the positive attributes they can bring to a learning situation.
Reader in Education and Technology, National Teaching Fellow
This is another example of ill-thought through top-down policy that bears no resemblance to evidence-based practice or pedagogic values. It is a hysterical, reductionist reaction, that destroys trust, modelling and inclusive approaches to the curriculum.
Secondary Curriculum Development Leader, Geographical Association, Teacher, Author
A smartphone is the sort of ICT that is used in the workplace: possibly more than the software that is on the ‘taught; curriculum. These devices offer the potential for enquiring, critical geographies with the students involved in both curriculum and pedagogical development.
Exams officer, Secondary School, Cumbria
Appeasement politics for readers of the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.
Educational Consultant, Fareham Hampshire
Students and pupils have many needs for mobile communication devices both for emergencies and as the current MobiMOOC is making extremely clear also for the ability to learn and evidence their learning using them. Such short sighted, knee-jerk reactions to the inability of poor teachers to control children in classrooms have no place in a modern student-centred environment like a school or college.
Education, Disability and Technology Researcher, Learning Sciences Research Institute, University of Nottingham
Significant research and evidence has shown the value of using phones and other mobile devices for diverse learning tasks in the classroom. Without being educated in the responsible uses of such devices we risk the safety of our children and miss an opportunity for them to discover phones for learning in their day to day lives.
Adviser, JISC Techdis
this short sighted attitude fails to recognise the crucial importance of personalisation for all learners. Learners will use the tools that they are comfortable with in the 21st century. With employers constantly complaining that students are not fit for the workplace - where are they to learn the skills for multi tasking, problem solving and enquiry based learning - which they do in their own time but not in an educational context (in general). an education paradigm based on 19th century public school system is not fit for purpose when we need a skilled workforce across all ability areas.
Senior Business Development Manager (digital industry)
(Lisa above is doing a much better job of making this point, please read that instead) I imagine that anyone who doesn’t learn the appropriate use of a mobile device in a learning environment will eventually have to learn it in the workplace which is less forgiving. That aside, wouldn’t it be better to develop teaching resources that can be used on mobile devices to further engage with young people rather than banning the platform and forgoing any of the learning benefits it has to offer?
Dr Matthew Pearson
Education Consultant Steljes
I thought that we had a policy shift towards teachers and school management being able to decide what is right for their school on a local level. Why invoke localism and then take centralist steps to ban devices which are essentially valuable to the learning process of young people. If you are going to talk the talk about trusting teacher’s judgement then walk the walk too, and let them make their own policies.
Julian S Wood
Primary Deputy Headteacher
Mobiles these days aren’t just used to make phone calls.
They are valuable teaching tools that can link pupils to a world of communication and learning.
What’s next on the ban list-computers, the internet, calculators...
Schools should be about learning! That includes learning how to use technology responsibly. Hate to say it but next step will be to ban use of computers.
- To stop cyber bullying
There must be some other ways to do so.
- Banned from lessons
Mobile phones are most affordable and handy device one can have. It would not be wise enough to launch a crackdown on it.
- teachers will be given power to check phones in classroom for pornography or “happy slapping”
This one would be good as long as it is not disturbing teaching/learning.
Research Technologies Developer Officer/ Researcher
Banning mobiles; ignoring the reality our students are engaged in, i.e., our society, is the pure antithesis of education.
Education should be about engaging with reality as it is, discuss how it could be transformed and thus help learners deal with it critically. For that to be achieved we also need to prepare our teachers so they are able to create meaningful learning contexts.
Banning stuff is just a form of censoring which will in no way benefit our society but rather weaken it.
School of Education and Professional Development, University of Huddersfield
Here's a Latin phrase for Gove to chew over, "Stultus quoque, si tacuerit, sapiens reputabitur"
Educational ICT Enthusiast
Why not flip it on its head and use them to engage learners? You risk alienating further those who are disengaged already
Using mobiles is simply another means of learning now in class surely. The students already have tech around them with computers etc to use so why not a mobile, whats the difference between them using the internet on pc and using it on their phone?
I read the newspaper article and then have watched with interest how people have reacted. Ultimately nothing has changed - we all knew or feared that the Secretary of State does not intuitively look upon the use of technology as something which will raise standards or win plaudits in the Daily Mail, Telegraph or Sun. He does not appear to have Policy Advisers working close to him who value technology and so it leaves us to consider the so what element of this rather than react emotively. This is nothing more than a sop to the papers and should be treated as such.
Like many on here. My first thought on hearing this was ‘Why doesn’t Gove go the whole hog and ban paper and pens?’.
Chief Assessor at The Learning Machine. Formerly responsible for Science and Technology at the first CTC and Curriculum Director for Science and Maths at the CTC Trust.
Technological philistinism is no answer to anything. Banning is a method of control akin to burning witches at the stake. Education should be about enlightenment. Learn about technology and its place and understand it. Since Smartphones are fully fledged computers, are we going to ban all IT in schools next? Appropriately educated people will look for the opportuinity and not be so parenoid about the threat.Teaching responsible use must be better than banning tools that are in widespread use in business and industry as well as the consumer world.
former teacher, learning technologist
What Simon Williams said.
Don’t have the time to think about the problem? Ban it! A great example of BigGovernment tinkering in local problems.
School Governor, Parent
Might as well take chalk and slate boards off them too, just in case they use them to draw big willies!
Rather than banning one of the key tools for communication, as with other tools, it might be more sensible to help pupils to use them wisely and widely. Look also at plentiful examples of excellent practice teaching of all subjects using handheld learning on mobile devices.
Parent, Moodle developer
If the mobile phone isn’t being used for educational purposes, I’ve no fundamental problem with them being banned from the classroom. Yes, they could be used as part of the education process, but that route itself may lead to inequalities in the classroom. After all, not every child will have a mobile phone, let alone a smartphone. So I think the arguments that we need to allow phones in classrooms so pupils can use them in lessons is a little off kilter.
However, if they are banned from the classroom, the school must provide a secure location for the phone to be kept during the school day. It’s unrealistic to expect children not to take phones with them to school in the first place, as many parents themselves want the assurance of knowing their kids can contact them, and vice versa. With the same article stating that schools will no longer have to give 24 hours notice of an after-school detention, it’s reasonable to expect that a child may need to let his or her parents know if they are being kept late (or delayed for any other reason). Yes, there are phones in schools, but it’s quite likely the child will phone a parent’s mobile number (or send an SMS); and those numbers themselves tend to be logged in the pupil’s mobile phone, rather than committed to memory.
Having said that, it’s probably, I think, an impractical solution. A school with 1000 pupils may not have provision for individual lockers, and having many pupils trying to check phones in or out from the school office is unrealistic. Therefore I think it makes sense for children to keep their phones with them, albeit switched off.
I also think it’s an invasion of privacy for teachers to be allowed to check a pupil’s phone. They are personal property, not the school’s. I doubt the threat of a spot-check will reduce cyber-bullying; pupils will still be able to conduct in such activity through Facebook, or a school’s VLE (I don’t think either Moodle or Frog give administrators an easy way to monitor private messages, for example; having an AUP is all very well, but they rely on victims reporting abuse).
Former National Advisor on Learning and Technology Futures, Scotland;
Consultant and Founder at NoTosh Limited
The problem is not with the device, in the same way that it is not paper that is fault for those writing hateful remarks in books, or in racist pamphlets.
The problem is one of attitudes towards students’ ability, wherever they are, to communicate in private. The attitude of students can be a negative one. But it is the attitude of parents, teachers, school leaders and Governors, that allows us to take negative attitudes and practices, and educate youngsters in the huge potential these devices have for their learning and participation in the democratic process.
Mobile phone use is a crucial part of today’s information architecture, for understanding the world around us and having one’s say in it. To remove it from the principle place of learning is equivalent to removing books in the 16-19th century, televisions and overhead projectors in the 20th century, and the internet in the beginning of the 21st century.
Head of Geography at a Secondary School. Chair of the Geographical Association’s Secondary Phase Committee
This move will take the choice and power away from individual schools. Teachers and HeadTeachers should have the decision on how their schools are run.
Used effectively, mobile technology has a powerful learning role.
Head of English at a Secondary School.
As already mentioned, you’d be far better embracing the use of mobile phones by teaching pupils how to use them responsibly.
One obvious use for mobile devices is as homework diaries (for example). In an average class, it is guaranteed that every kid who doesn’t have his or her homework diary/planner will have his or her mobile phone. Even a basic model allows the setting of alarms (for homework due dates, revision reminders, exam schedules, and so forth)...
One bonus is that by starting every lesson with the instruction to ‘Take out your mobile phone and put it on the desk ready to use’, you know where the phones are. You can see them, and spot anyone misusing them. Then it is up to the teacher to deliver an engaging lesson (which does, or does not use phones or technology). If the pupils are engaged, they are not going to be messing about.
Something else worthy of consideration is that, the power of mobile phones is increasing exponentially (as is the power of devices like the iPod Touch et al)... By encouraging pupils to utilise the power at their own fingertips (which they are often unaware they can do), we empower them and encourage them to be more active in their own learning. The cynic in me wonders if this is the real reason the current government want them banned.
One final, technical point. I have been told that it is a really dangerous thing to look at the contents of a pupil’s phone because, if there is to be a Police investigation as a result of the contents of the phone, the act of the teacher checking the phone can be enough to contaminate the evidence trail. I have always been told (by the Police) that if in doubt, call the Police in and they will search the phone. That’s going to be an interesting proposition if this ill-advised and, quite frankly, stupid legislation is enforced.
eLearning/Year 8 Team Leader
I love the iPod touch in the classroom. I do not love the mobile phone. Please read http://thurly.net/151a What would you suggest?
Designer & Teacher
No, no, no Mr Gove. Once again you are proving your absolute lack of vision and understanding of the learning experience. How can you teach children to respect each others privacy on one hand and at the same time invade their privacy with the other? If this is the best solution to these serious problems you can devise then you need to resign immediately before you do anymore harm to our already battered education system.
Former teacher. Training Manager at a CLC
Mobile phones can cause problems in the classroom, but students must be taught appropriate use, which won’t happen with a blanket ban. In addition mobiles can be an excellent tool for learning and schools should be able to dictate their use in the classroom, not the government.
Lecturer & Advanced Practitioner
Teacher of French & German
Fantastic to see what was at the outset a little twitterchat turn into an (inter)national discussion!
What I feel has been more than adequately summarised by those above - suffice to say that I will carry on letting my students use their mobile devices (appropriately) in MY classroom, regardless of what Mr Gove tries to make me do... And they will derive huge benefit from it.
Ex english teacher , SSAT
Hmmm. Should be taught to use responsibly rather than banning. As a policy it does not address any issue, but does look good in the papers. After MPs have been allowed to use iPads and iPhones in the commons too. Do as we say but not as we do!
Teacher of Spanish and German, Head of Modern Foreign Languages
Banning is not best way forward. Educating children about appropriate use is.
Independent Education IT consultant
This is a myopic policy that will not work - as pointed out by others it is easy to implement a policy of constructive use and effective non-use when appropriate. This policy cuts across the basic human rights of children and young people. Rather than face yet another court battle resulting in public expenditure on ill-thought out government policy why not leave well alone.
Senior lecturer, ICT Education
There are occasions on which paper and pencils are used ‘inappropriately’: should these too be banned?
UN CRC Article 13 states: “The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.”
Lifelong learning and informal learning beyond school demand personal access to ICT. A seamless transition for learners within and beyond school would make use of learners’ own technology.
Head of ICT & Computing
On the one hand, the government appears to be handing more autonomy to teachers, whilst at the same time dictating what technologies should / should not be available to students.
Mobile phone as vital in school to my 13 year old autistic daughter as a hearing aid or wheelchair. Anxiety causes distress - needs to be able to contact and be contacted. By all means enforce them being turned to silent, but blanket ban ridiculous. Phones are now ubiquitous in world of work and should be the same in school. Treat pupils with a little trust/respect. Most won’t abuse it; punish those that do. (Bullies have always found a way; technology irrelevant).
Impossible should have said All electronic devices that are not provided by the school
Former teacher, parent of 2 children (one at primary school, one at secondary school),
IT Solutions Architect for a large business process outsourcing company
The use of mobile phones in school should not be dictated centrally by government, but should instead be delegated to headteachers, governors and school staff to respond to local contexts. Mobile technologies are a valuable part of the modern learning landscape. To ban them outright would be depriving all children of a resource that can be extremely effective when used appropriately.
Parent & open accessibility consultant
just plain foolish, for all above reasons
Dr Tom Crick
Lecturer in Computer Science, UWIC
Sounds like a great plan, let’s ban the key learning technology of the (near) future -- mobile devices.
Seriously, this should not be a government policy issue* -- engage with the students and embrace the technology.
*Perhaps they should focus on the National Curriculum Review/English Baccalaureate/HE white paper/et al.
Teacher/ ICT Co-ordinator
Cutting off children’s hands will stop them from punching but also from writing. This is not the way to address cyber bullying and it’s not the Government’s place to introduce a ban for all schools.
Project leader, Learning Futures
Unenforceable, unrealistic and ill-informed. It’s not the tool, it’s the manner in which it’s used. So, what happened to greater school autonomy?
Now educational consultant
The UK is reputedly an admirer of the education systems of our northern European neighbours - such as Finland.
A Finland where I have witnessed the powerful use of mobile technologies to engage pupils in learning and empower them to communicate using modern-day media.
Leave these decisions to the judgement of school leaders - they usually DO know best!
Previously Senior Lecturer now Adviser in Digital Literacy
This is ridiculous - this is demonising digital technologies instead of correcting the underlying problem. Teach children to respect and care for one another rather than removing a useful learning tool from them.
These children will learn that technology is “a bad thing”. This will hardly improve their digital literacy skills!
Visiting Lecturer, Univ of Salford; faculty development staff Univ of Minnesota
Seems that taking away mobiles is a superficial “fix” at best and moves further away from collaborative local and UK-wide leadership efforts involving family, school leadership and teachers, government agencies and ministers, and popular culture figures to create public spaces where frankly addressing the human attitudes (like say hierarchies and xenophobia) and actions (perhaps oppression and willful avoidance of verifiable, diverse sets of information) that perpetuate bullying is not only possible but ordinary and expected.
CEO Independent Thinking Ltd
Mobile phones = all of the world’s knowledge at your fingertips! People would have gone to war over such a device a century ago. A forward-thinking government would make them compulsory in the classroom, not ban them!
Teacher of Geography & Humanities
Mobile technology is a powerful tool, especially in schools were access to technology is limited. Teachers should be trusted to make wise decisions regarding the use of mobile devices. Additionally, using mobile technology allows issues of internet safety to be discussed with children. It is far better to manage and include the use of technology than to ban it, and take leaps backwards with our learners. We should be engaging them, utilising their technology, rather than retreating to traditional tools.
Primary teacher ICT lead
Independent ICT Advisory Teacher
very backward thinking. Of course bullying should be stopped but banning technology has failed every time since the machine wreckers tried it.
Head of ICT & Business, Neale-Wade Community College.
We've long been telling students that the day will come where students will be told off for not having their mobile phone on in class, rather than the current expectation that it will be off.
It is a ridiculously backward and ill-thought out step to consider a blanket ban on mobiles in school.
Students need to be equipped with mobile learning technologies to allow them to make appropriate choices within their learning. Ideally in the next few years students can be supported to make positive use of mobile devices.
Banning them would be an utter fallacy and miss the key issue with any technology - it is about providing learners with the opportunity to learn best uses.
We don't ban the entire Internet because of some of the rubbish that appears. We don't ban football boots because of Wayne Rooney's foul language. We don't ban cars because of all the death and destruction on motorways.
Of course, back up and support teachers who don't want devices in their learning environment due to concerns about being secretly recorded. Yet a short-term, headline-grabbing move will do nothing to support a nation of entrepreneurs that the government seems so keen on.
university lecturer and research student
There are many positive uses for mobile technology in school. Assuming phones can only be used in inappropriate ways in unhelpful, and fails to encourage positive uses of technology.
If anything, I am more concerned about teachers being set up with some kind of policing role and being given a responsibility for inspecting the content of phones. How long before this becomes a duty? This can be perceived as yet another situation where the State is taking over the role of parents in bringing up their children. Parents should know how their children are using their technology and monitoring it - there is no incentive for parent responsibility once the State takes over.
sitting in the audience watching a school play. Just seen a 2 year old access a phonics game on his Dad's iPhone. So many great uses don't dictate allow schools to make the right decisions for their learners.
There are positives and negatives depending on the age groups of the teachers and their students. If the student refuses to give up the phone - instant confrontation...proper use...ring up a source of info for project etc. It should be for the school to decide these policies. Technology is moving so quickly school rules could be made and respected far more that a blanket ban.
PGCE Lecturer, ICT Consultant
Banning will just push phones underground. Phones should be embraced and incorporated into the classroom.
A knee-jerk response to pander to the tabloids and a very backward step.
Former Head of ICT. Founder of DoDigital Ltd
Mobile phones can be used totally inappropriately in schools. They can also be used to enhance teaching and learning, engage hard to reach pupils and for great enjoyment in the classroom. Surely with the government's policy on free schools and allowing teachers to have more autonomy, it is up to at least the headteacher of individual schools, if not individual teachers, as to whether mobiles are used in their organisation and classrooms.
Teacher of Modern Languages
As a teacher who has used mobiles telephones successfully in the classroom with students of different abilities I feel this proposal is a step backwards in the use of communication technology in schools. Surely, it is for professionals to decide which types of technology they use in their teaching and I feel that teachers need to be trusted to do their jobs rather than have rules and restrictions forced upon them. The mobile telephone could be an asset to many classrooms and just because an insignificant minority would abuse them, does not mean that they should be banned. I have little enough time to teach my students without having to stop and search them for mobile ‘phones. More students attend my lessons with a mobile telephone than with a pen.
You cannot educate young people in correct ways to use something by banning it. It seems crazy to cut off new learning opportunities and deny students the opportunity to learn with tools they are most comfortable with
Teaching and Learning Consultant (ICT)
Oh surprise!!!! Surely that’s against human rights! I’m not left-wing but that’s ridiculous.
Creative Agent, Parent
No. For all above reasons. Backward thinking again.
PGCE Lecturer, e-learning sCreative Agenttudent
Mobile technology should be embraced for learning. Ban will limit learning opportunities. Ill thought out knee-jerk reaction.
Maggie Hos McGrane
Head of Information and Communication for Teaching and Learning
Phones are powerful computers in the children’s pockets. We should let them use the technology they have and guide them how to use it wisely and constructively.
Crossing a busy road can be dangerous too - yet millions of children do it every day on their way to and from school. We don’t ban them from doing it, we don’t keep them always on the same side of the street - we teach them how to do it, we hold their hands at first while they do it, we stand back and watch them do it and eventually they are responsible enough to do it by themselves.
If we don’t teach our children to be responsible digital citizens, who will?
It’s always about education in schools; appropriate, necessary and suitable. I’m old enough to remember calculators being banned! Here’s hoping the headliners have got it wrong.
History Teacher, Head of AGT
I don’t think you’ve really thought this through.
CLC Director - almost retired
Essentially I don’t think Michael has gone far enough. If, as he obviously believes, education is a one way communication between the font of knowledge and the empty vessels then then this has to be seen as a tentative step only. Its time to ban talking in school too. After all talking can be disruptive, can use words
and ideas that are not for young ears to hear. Lets have schools full of reverent silence, where the only sound is of the teacher passing on their gems of wisdom.
Teacher of Art,Design and Photography
If phones were baned in my classroom I would have to completely readdress the way I teach students. Mobile devices have so many applications espcially when teaching theory and concepts.
Teacher of Physics & Science
Will they be allowed to use their phones once they’ve left school at 14? I’m glad that Mr Gove is not in charge of education in Scotland.
ICT Consultant for primary schools
I am just running a trial project for reluctant readers - aged 7 - 8 - SMS so that the children engage with text instead of pictures and video, all the rich media around them that may confuse! They are loving reading and writing on the mobile phone so far, it has engaged them in a way books did not. Does it really make sense to ban them? NO - this is the 21st Century not 1950!
We are a world leader in the effective use and developments of mobile technologies enhance learning experiences. Can we develop better strategies other than, Lets not use IT!? … I hear also, that pupils can use a computer to get on the internet!! Better ban those too.
Thanks to my 4 year old “borrowing” my phone from time to time he’s able to identify planets, can point to Japan on a map, knows that there are no polar bears in Antartica and has been thrilled watching the launch of a space shuttle. This sort of technology is giving my kids and many like them a window on the world and a way to exchange ideas that I would have loved to have when I was learning. Banning a technology like this removes a vast range of opportunities...
...and everything everyone else has said!
Retired Deputy Head, Director of Learning - now in UAE helping Local Teachers to improve their pedagogy
Restating what I wrote for purpos/ed this is an actual example of why politicians SHOULD NOT be involved in any practical issue that concerns the delivery of education. This man Gove is a threat to all the excellent practitioners we have in the UK
Leader of Enquiry Based Learning
Why on Earth would we want to use todays’ technology in the classroom?
We struggle to buy video cameras and GPS. Students have these in their pockets and we want to ban them?
Parent of three teenagers.
One thing is for sure, if you ban mobile phones in schools our pupils will become less competitive globally and they will learn how to misuse these devices without adult guidance. OFSTED research (2007) identifies managed systems - not lock down systems - as the root of successful technology integration. Banning stuff from schools, or indeed anywhere, only sensationalises it. Please let us educate our children and not force them to child-centric sub-cultures?
At a time of cutbacks and lack of money for many vital projects we need to find a way to utilise the video cameras, internet connections, voice recorders, digital cameras, educational gaming devices that are contained within mobile phones, not just blanket ban them. The PM talks of innovation being required and then his cabinet limits this.
Head of Media and Film Studies
The mobile phone offers an invaluable source of information, creativity and accessibility. This is yet another example of a complete lack of trust in both the practitioners who should be allowed to use modern technology as part of an innovative and engaging curriculum, and the young people who are accused of having no idea how to use technology appropriately. Legislation should not be allowed to dictate the minutae of classroom practice. Leave it to the professionals to make an informed judgement.
Teaching and learning consultant
I recently participated in a GPS ‘learning trail’ facilitated by the bMobLe team in Bradford, in which I joined in with some other learners using GPS devices to discover geocaches in the local park. One such cache contained a QR code (a black pattern on a piece of paper similar to a barcode if you are unfamiliar). An instruction in the box asked me to photograph the QR code using the ‘Google App’. Once the code was recognised a lesson instruction appeared on my smartphone asking me to take a photo of the building in front of me (Cartwright Hall), modify the image in Photoshop for mobile to make it spooky, and email my new picture to a teacher’s email address.
How on earth could a learning opportunity of this calibre which encourages higher-order thinking skills using familiar technologies not be seen as beneficial to students and a useful preparation for their life in our increasingly hi-tech world?
Researcher, location-based mobile learning and ex-secondary school science teacher
The points above are well-made and do not need repeating. I would add that mobile phones are an important bridge between formal and informal/non-formal learning and are a really amazing piece of kit to have out in the field/our outdoor environment. As already mentioned, it’s educating our children about how they use the technology, rather than the technology itself, that’s the crux of the argument.
Pioneer of the use of mobile technologies within the classroom.
We should be encouraging the use of the technologies that our future leaders carry with them. How short-sighted can an education department be! open school networks to allow the use of their wireless capabilities with software such as GCSEPOD.
Teacher and e-learning adviser
All learners need to maximise their use of these technologies for learning. In the long run, phones are likely to prove much more effective than computers for online work. Teachers are by and large well able to handle any disruption which can arise. It is also very unlikely to be practical to enforce. In short, this policy is a non-starter.
School Improvement Officer ICT & Liverpool’s E-Safety Lead
Short sighted is an understatement - Michael Gove is reaching ‘needing a white stick’ territory...simply moronic (and everything everyone else has said)
Independent ICT Consultant and lecturer at University of Leicester School of Education
Banning, as always, will push the problem underground. It is not technology's fault that there is abuse of its power. I can think of many, many abuses of the power of the pen … will we ban that from our schools too?
How about embracing technology and asking people such as ourselves how best to do so? Banning mobiles will not stop bullying.
Primary Teacher, St John the Baptist Primary School, Hampshire
If you ban phones because of bullying, you might as well ban bike sheds, toilets, corridors and everything else in school too. Surely the right way to deal with this is to educate children properly? I have children that are completely happy working online and using online tools to collaborate with each other because I have SHOWN them how to do it, TALKED to them about the dangers and I LISTEN to their questions and comments. This is because I believe in the future. The fute is collaboration. I want my children to be leading the change in their future and I don’t want them constrained because some small minorities are causing problems. Educate rather than ban. It makes sense.
Primary Teacher, Robin Hood School, Birmingham, Google Certified Teacher
Why ban powerful tools when we can work with young people to harness their power for learning? Especially when they will use them anyway.Such bans perpetuate the position of education as irrelevant to ‘real life’ and turn students of from learning as a means to better themselves in the ‘real world’.
Lead T&L consultant Curriculum ICT
Children are going to be using these and other emerging technologies throughout their lives. These are very powerful resources that have a positive impact on attainment and engagement in schools. Instead of ‘banning’ things that adults do not always engage with - focus on teaching children how to best use this technology SAFELY & RESPONSIBLY. Are we going to ban staff to?. It we do this embarrassing situations such as this http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1373747/Conservative-candidate-calls-radio-phone-transparency-politics--gives-false-name.html?ito=feeds-newsxml might be avoided.
HoD ICT Abbeywood School
If a student messes about with a football inappropriately in a classroom do we ban footballs from the whole of the school, including PE? Of course not! Mobile phones can be very powerful tools in school - we should be teaching appropriate use not luddite prohibition.
Teacher and KS4 Co-ordinator ICT - South Dartmoor Community College
Another bad idea from a short sighted Government.
Head of ICT, Lyndhurst School
Now is not the time for King Canute.
Head of ICT, Rye St Antony, Oxford
I have used mobiles in class with basic tasks such as gathering evidence (camera) to discussing the technology behind the phone so that my pupils gain a better and broader understanding of how a vital piece of modern technology works and impacts on their life. I certainly wouldn’t dream of teaching about what a book is without having a book in class?
Curriculum Leader for Maths
The John Bentley School
There is little to add to the above, except to say that ICT is essential to life in the 21st century, at all levels. Students carry significant computing power in their pockets 24/7. Why would we not make use of this?
Learning technology advisor (HE)
It’s all been said above. Michael Gove - please listen to those who know and have hard evidence of the potential of mobile technology in the classroom. Leave headteachers, teachers and pupils the freedom to work this one out for themselves.
I am signing this, not because I use mobile phones with my students (although all this attention is making me curious), but because I believe that the outright banning of anything is illogical, when one is simultaneously talking about de-centralisation. Let teachers decide what is best for their learners.
Plus, I use my Blackberry continuously in school: for email; for web-browsing; for photography; for video; for assessment; for planning; Twitter etc.. Will this ban also apply to teachers?
But then I also know that there are schools in the town that I live that force their teachers to lock their phones away whilst they are on school premises. Gove is not the only dinosaur in the education system.
In addition, harnessing the power of mobile technology enables schools to deliver cutting edge ICT education without having to spend huge quantities of money.
Don’t limit educational possibilities of English because of fear of the new.
Schools ICT support, former teacher, IS specialist, physicist
I have thousands of staff and students using Google documents, just like this one, in their classes. I wonder if Gove has any idea that mobiles already allow learners to work on these from anywhere, as I am doing now. And the rate of change is increasing. We need to learn how to use them effectively, and we can't do that through a strategy of avoidance.
Leader for Media Studies / Leader for KS4 English / Blogger / Mobile user!
It is exceedingly disappointing that the Government is trying to impose an unmanageable policy on schools. All schools are different and are still coming to terms with both the positive and negative impact of mobile technology. Surely, it is in the schools best interests to leave this issue in their hands and for the Government to encourage them to
treat mobile phones in the same way that the Internet should be treated. Advice from Ofsted, in regards, to the World Wide Web, is for managed systems not lock down systems (already referenced by Dai Barnes higher up the table). Mobile’s have so much potential to improve learning, a blanket policy such as this will have a significantly detrimental effect on that potential.
ICT Teacher Consultant
Mobile phone = portable mini-computer, which I use all the time to continue my own learning. As an educator I thought I was here to democratise the process of learning, to show everyone they can access tools to aid their thinking, creativity, and producing new original materials; that what they learn in school they can use to good effect in any sphere of life. Who knows what else we will be able to do with our mobiles in a couple of year’s time? I can do amazing things with mine now and I know that there must be many things I haven’t even realised are possible, as I find new ones on a daily basis. Please do not ban mobile phones or any tech if you want to give our children a chance to compete in our 21st century world.
primary languages teacher; PLL/ICT consultant; ADE; parent
Banning is not the answer. Modelling responsible use is more useful, more sensible and more powerful
Director of learning Maths, ICT & Business
I agree with the general comments here. Mobile technology is a resource largely untapped by schools but which couldplay an increasing role in the education of our pupils. The technology available is potentially life changing if schools can work acceptable uses / policies etc into school life and begin to use the devices as mobile computers with all the positives from that. there will always be examples of bullying / theft etc but it needs to be addressed as that and dealt with accordingly. Please allow us to make that decision and give us the power to inforce the decisions we make accordingly.
Teacher of ICT
A ban on mobiles in classrooms would be short-sighted and unworkable. Much better to educate young people about the responsible use of mobile technologies and encourage their use to support and extend learning.
Educational Consultant, former Assistant Headteacher, Director of e-Learning
As with the majority I believe this is a reactive response to a complex issue. Schools and government need to provide opportunities for learners to learn how to use mobile technol
Learning Technology Coordinator, ELTC, University of Sheffield
agree with all points above, mobile devices aren’t going away, instead of banning them let’s teach both students/teachers how they can use them to educational effect in the classroom
Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School in London 2004, former SSAT Lead Practitioner for Design Technology
Gove is doing his best to keep education in the dark ages. Using mobile phone in school has so much potential....good practice must be shared and celebrated. see the example:
With clear guidelines, mobile technology provides students with a fantastic tool that enhances teaching and learning. With a focus on appropriate use, the ‘issues’ perceived become non existent and the students simply see the technology as an additional tool in their arsenal to use as and when appropriate.
Learning Technology Manager
Mobile technology has a clear benefit in the classroom which can help to diversify the teaching and learning that takes place. It opens up a much wider forum for debate, discussion and research. We see huge growth in the modern workplace whereby the mobile or smart phone is key to improving the productivity of the workforce. In this same way it is becoming a key resource in the ever changing classroom to widen the way that young people can learn.
Senior Lecturer in Educational Technology, Open University
Yes, schools should regulate mobile phones, and any other technology, to make sure they are used in an appropriate manner. But banning them achieves the absolute opposite. If school is to be relevant for children’s lives, it has to let their lives in its doors and provide guidance and direction. Any device is neither good not bad, its what you do with it. and if you can’t bring it to school, you can’t reflect on the ways you use it and learn to make conscious deliberate choices.
All that is even before we consider the straightforward potential of mobile technology for education.
By the way, would Mr. Gove accept a ban on mobile phones in Parliament?
Sixth Form student
The freedom that a mobile device with an open access to knowledge and information cannot be underestimated or limited.
Ex-school librarian, owner of the School Librarians’ Network email list and member of the national committee of the School Libraries Group of CILIP
As schools and teachers are beginning to discover the many educational uses to which a mobile phone can be put, it seems absurd for the government to propose their elimination from schools. Banning mobile phones will also put schools on a collision course with parents who understandably want their children to carry them. At present many schools ban them from classrooms, except where teachers permit their use. This allows students to carry them provided they are not used and visible. A wholesale ban with powers of search would be an unwarranted escalation.
Manager of Sheffield City Learning Centres
I can’t add anything to the many comments above. It’s a bad idea.