Technology Hits the Classroom: How Teachers at Deer Park Handle Smartphones

BY GEORG DITTLBACHER, February 2018

Ean on phone
A student uses his phone in class

As technology is one of the fastest moving sectors of business, educations struggles to keep up. How students will react to having their phones available to them can be just as unpredictable as the changes in the world of technology. Two Deer Park teachers differ greatly in their approach to handle the changes in tech.

“I have teenagers myself and I asked them how they handled the smartphone problem at their high school.They implemented some charging stations in some classrooms  and after seeing something very similar on Pinterest I had my husband attach some plugs to the wall and made a charging station of my own.” This is how Mrs Beck , the 10th Grade English teacher, tackled this problem and sets an example how teachers can stay at the forefront of tech and stay student friendly at the same time.

Beck phone
Ms. Beck’s phone solution

“I used to spend about half the period telling students to put away their phone and get out their work. I refer to my classroom as a professional environment, so I made it clear from the beginning that students have to put away their phones for these 43 minutes.”

Mr. Benjamin , a math teacher, has a different approach.  “Being a teacher that teaches the upper level, the older kids, it hasn’t been a major problem.For me it actually keeps people quietly engaged when someone was taking a test for example. It has been a problem occasionally. I do have one student in one of my classes that has to put their phone on my desk because that has been a problem everyday, but that’s been very rare for the level of classes i teach…”

Students really like Mrs. Becks approach of handling cell phones.Cara Finney, a sophomore, said, “I get where she’s coming from and I think it’s a clever thing that she is doing it for attendance and how we can charge our phone.”  Olivia Noland, also in 10th grade , agrees“…she gives us these very pretty and organized places to put away our phone.”

They both also appreciate the freedom Mr. Benjamin gives them.  “I think it’s pretty cool. It makes me not wanna go on my phone on my during class, just because i don’t want to disappoint Mr. Benjamin. He trusts me with my phone.”

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