How should teachers respond to cell phones in the classroom?

In a recent article, a science teacher was caught jamming student cell phone signals. The teacher’s efforts to redirect his students were met with administrative opposition. Teachers need to engage student in the learning process so that they will not feel the need to use cell phones during instruction.

According to the article, the Florida science teacher became frustrated with the continued use of student cellphone usage during instruction and decided to jam the signals. Once administrators caught wind of the teachers’ efforts they decided to suspend him without pay.

The science teacher wrote a letter regarding using the cell phone jammer and indicated that he wanted keep students academically focused. He felt that it was counter productive to stop instruction to either tell a student to put their cell phone away or to confiscate to place it in a school approved box.

Teachers in this school had the privilege of keeping the cell phone until the end of the school day. Even though the teacher spoke to a local police officer, who indicated that the placement of jammer on a cell tower was not illegal, the usage of the cell phone jammer violates Federal Communication Commission (FCC) statutes. According to the FCC no one is supposed to have a cell phone jammer, even though they are readily available online.

Why are cell phone jammers illegal?

In the United States, cell-phone jamming is covered under the Communications Act of 1934, which prohibits people from “willfully or maliciously interfering with the radio communications of any station licensed or authorized” to operate with a radio signal. The manufacture, importation, the sale of devices designed to block or jam wireless transmissions is prohibited too.

Cell phone jamming is consistent with property theft, because a private company has purchased the rights to the radio spectrum, and jamming the spectrum is akin to stealing the property the company has purchased. Cell phone jamming presents safety problems because it blocks all calls in the area, not just the annoying ones. Jamming a signal could block the call of a babysitter who is frantically trying to contact a parent or someone who is trying to call for emergency assistance.

According to FCC statutes fine for the first offense ca­n range as high as $11,000 for each violation or imprisonment for up to one year, and the device used may also be seized and forfeited to the government.

What strategies could the teacher have implemented to ensure that students did not use their cell phone in class? The cell phone jamming incident happened in May. May is very late in the year to have student cell phone usage problems. The teacher should have developed a discipline process in the beginning of the year or at the beginning of his employment. The teachers needed to redevelop classroom rules with the student input. He could have used the following process for the development of cell phone usage:

  1. Distribute the cell phone policy for the school district to students
  2. Have students to work in small groups to develop rules and consequences for student cell phone usage
  3. Display those rules by the clock in the classroom

Another matter to consider is that students who are know to become disciplinary problems if they consider the content boring. While I do not know what the stage of the science curriculum was, I do know that the cell phone have an enormous amount of science included in its development and usage. The electronics and signal phenomenon should have provided an opportunity as an instructional strategy where students would have been engaged in the learning and no longer a discipline problem?

Teachers can incorporate a system that keeps students continually engaged in the learning process. Another way to accomplish this is to require students to take notes during class. Make note taking a major portion of their classroom grade. Check the student’s notes as they are working individually or in groups. Make sure to put a checkmark on the notebook page or a grade for future reference.

Teachers who are having discipline problems associated with student cell phone usage should use it as an opportunity to engage students in a process that become productive for the students and teacher.

Related Articles

Fed Up Teacher Did Something Illegal To Stop Students From Using Cell Phones in Class

The Science of Why Schools Should Ban Cell Phone Use

Omaha school district eases students’ cellphone use

How Cell Phone Jammers Work

 

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.

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Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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