Thursday 15 September 2011

Phones at School

We once wrote a cellphone policy for a primary school. It was one line - cellphones are not permitted at school. But things have changed...

Many schools now communicate with students and caregivers by text message.

Communicating in emergencies has been a big issue this year through quakes, floods, tornadoes, and snow!
Keeping a cellphone charged and topped up is an important part of every household's emergency planning along with a torch with batteries, etc. When the power goes out, it's your best way to check geonet.

Here in Canterbury, lots of school age children have suddenly had phones bestowed upon them by parents who've made the terrifying trip to school post quake and I suspect it would be a losing battle for schools to ban them now.

But phones have changed too. They're clever multi talented little devices that do more than allow communication via text or voice. Who hasn't furtively checked their TradeMe auction by phone in work time? Ha! No, I'm not going to admit it either.

Our cybersafety policies include the use of cellphones from a cybersafety and computer safety angle. Should we have another policy that spells out where and how phones may be used at school, where they may be kept (they're expensive little things)? How would it work?

What happens at your school now?

Please share your experiences on this - communication is a very important issue.