Back to School: Integrating cell phones into the classroom

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ANTIGO, Wis. (MomsEveryday) -- Today most tweens and teenagers own a cell phone, a majority are smart phones. It isn't very likely for them to leave that all-consuming device at home during the school day, but in this technology-filled era, many teachers are finding ways to integrate cell phones into classroom instruction, including AP Psychology Teacher Liz Severson. "This generation of kids is very, I don't want to say reliant or dependent on technology, but really what they're addicted to is that instant feedback, she said.

As a teacher, she's also gotten instant feedback from her students. "I could set up a poll on a website and then students should text their answer to a certain number and then when they texted that number the results would come up and I'd have instant feedback, " said Severson.

There are countless apps that help students enhance their reading, spelling, writing and math skills, as well as, digital tools to help organize all of that information that is right at their fingertips. She said, "One thing I've done that is teach kids to utilize Pinterest because a lot of kids really like Pinterest and they can actually create a board, let's say Biological Psychology or the brain and then go find information and pin those websites to Pinterest."

While using cell phones in the classroom has many benefits, it also opens the door to distraction. She said, "I think the big thing is they are still kids. When I think back to when I was younger, if I wasn't paying attention I may be dazed off or I may be writing notes to people or reading a book and now kids are going to be texting their friends or checking Twitter or playing games so it's really a different type of distraction."

She said it's up to teachers to engage their students so they don't feel the need to pick up their phone, unless their instructed to.