Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Student Cell Phone Etiquette

Recently one of the K-5 campus technology facilitators in my district contacted me to see if I had any resources regarding cell phone etiquette for elementary students. It seems that some students from her campus were passing along spam text messages along the lines of "forward this or something bad will happen to you".

I looked through my digital citizenship and cell phone bookmarks and didn't see anything specific to "spam texting". Googling "spam texting" brought back tons of results, if what I wanted were suggested lists of spam texts to send. Nice.

So, I brainstormed some ideas and sent them back to my colleague. She added some other ideas of her own. Between the two of us, we came up with the list of cell phone etiquette ideas for students that you see below. I share them with permission of my colleague, who did not ask for name attribution, but I must say I enjoyed working with ML on this. :-) The campus also sent this list out to parents via their parent E-News listserv.

Hopefully this will help the next person looking for student cell phone etiquette ideas. Really some of these ideas would be helpful with some adults I know! Please feel free to use and adapt. I would appreciate a citation of this blog if you do so.

Does your student have a cell phone?

Many students have or have access to cell phones. Please review the suggestions below, and take this opportunity to discuss responsible cell phone usage with your child.

• Phones should remain off and in backpacks while at school.

• Avoid musical ringtones and turn your phone to vibrate in public settings.

• Phone conversations should be conducted quietly and in private, not in front of friends or during interaction with others.

• Students should understand that it is inappropriate to take or forward embarrassing pictures of others.

• Compulsive checking for text messages is disruptive to your child’s focus, as well as their friends and family.

• Any messages that are threatening, scary, or contain inappropriate language or pictures should be discussed with a trusted adult or parent.

• If your child is receiving inappropriate texts or pictures from another child, it might be helpful to contact the sender’s parents.

• Chain texts, like chain emails, are considered spam, and generally bad manners to forward.

• Children should understand that not everyone has unlimited texting plans. When sending an unnecessary text, such as a chain message, it might be costing your family or friend’s family extra money…even if they are not read.
Parents, you are in charge. Monitor what your child is sending and receiving. This is your phone, your money, and most importantly your child. Letting your child know what your expectations are will help them avoid pitfalls.

Do you have any similar lists that you have shared with students of any age? If so, please share a link to them in the comments.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Common Sense Tech

  • Remember to be selective, safe and smart in the technology you incorporate in K-12.

    • Use of Twitter or Facebook by educators is one thing, but when I see articles and posts about using social media in classrooms, other than higher ed—it makes me cringe. Any adult using these online options knows how difficult they are to control. Hacking, porn, language, and just the constant updates—by the nanosecond—from all over the world are too uncontrollable for most classrooms—and from what I see, many adults, too.

    • Sometimes administrators and educators get so caught up with the cool, that they forget the bigger picture

    • At their best, they are the few in each school, or district, pushing the tech envelope. Some do that envelope pushing while working closely within the district, but others work outside that safety net. Today, the latter scares me. Relying on free downloads, cool online sites—with most of those requiring logins—can be unsafe. We need to move beyond the rogue-educator, and support consistent school or district solutions.

    • Experimenting with new online tech ideas is one thing, but forcing all into the classroom is not using common sense.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.