New Milford High School Has Students Using Cell Phones As ‘Mobile Learning Devices’

NEW MILFORD, N.J. (CBS 2) — While cell phones and other high-tech gadgets are banned in many schools, there’s a principal in New Jersey who says bring it on!

At New Milford High School students are using their cell phones to text their answers in class. The results immediately go up on a smart board.

“Now if I tell them ‘okay kids take out your cell phones, we’re going to poll in our answers for number 7, everybody go ahead and text their answer in,’ I get 90 to 100 percent participation,” math teacher Jeff Fiscina told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.

Fiscina said with textbooks alone, only about half the students would participate in class. Now teachers can immediately gauge if everyone gets it.

Students are also allowed to bring their own laptops to class and connect to the school’s secure wireless network. Kiefer Handshuh said it’s a huge plus. He’s been on computer since he was 4.

“It helps out our learning by giving us different advantages over other schools, it bring us into the real world,” Handshuh said.

Principal Eric Sheninger calls cell phones ‘mobile learning devices’ and says schools need to catch up with the kids.

“What we’re trying to do is just empower them to utilize these tools that they know how to use better than us and apply it to a learning outcome,” Sheninger said.

While the school has become a high-tech haven, there are restrictions. There are a lot of websites that students are blocked from, such as Facebook and YouTube. The phones not allowed to be used in the hallways and students either have to get permission to make phone calls.

This is the first year cell phones are being allowed at the school and so far teachers and students say they love it calling it B-Y-O-T for Bring Your Own Technology.

What do you think about the idea of students using cell phones in class?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

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  • Lisa Velmer Nielsen

    Bravo to principal Eric Sheninger for empowering students with the freedom to learn with the tools of the world in which they live. I hope others take his lead and do the same. When school life is disconnected from real life we are doing everyone an injustice.

    Lisa Nielsen
    Author – Teaching Generation Text

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