In my previous article, I discussed how the cell phone debate continues with students and now has involved teachers and administrators.
A pilot program in Brooklyn is designed where schools actually give students cell phones as a reward for good grades, attendance, and good behavior.
The program is taking place in three of Brooklyn’s middle schools and four of its charter schools. About 2500 students will be receiving cell phones equipped with 130 minutes. Students can earn more minutes through good grades, attendance, behavior, and more.
The cell phone is labeled with the program logo which is “Million” to represent the million students in the city.
Teachers plan to use the cell phones to send text messages to the students. The students will receive text reminders about test, projects due, and major school events and assignments.
The designers of the program state that educators must reach children where they are and in their environment. Children are in the age of technology. All children either have or want a cell phone. Children are the largest group of text messengers in our society. They claim that if we want to reach our children, texting is how to do it and how to get trough to them.
The children involved in the program say that they feel it is a great idea. While they may not listen in class or write down and record all of their assignments, they do check their text messages. They are thankful to have the text reminders from their teachers. They are also excited to have the cell phones for personal use. While many already had a phone, the minutes on these phones are free.