Thursday, May 19, 2011 | Categories: Blog
This September, the Toronto District School Board will lift its four-year old ban on cellphones and other portable electronics. The decision has sparked a debate: can cell phones in the classroom be a valuable learning tool, or are they a recipe for distraction?
We thought the news would be a good opportunity to revisit two Spark interviews from 2010. Last April, Nora talked to Marie Bjerede and Homer Spring about Project K-nect, a Qualcomm-sponsored pilot project in North Carolina that put smartphones in high school math classrooms.
In a blog post, Marie claimed the smartphones had a real impact:
Overall, proficiency rates increased by 30 percent. In the best case, one class using the devices had 50 percent more kids finishing the year proficient than a class learning the same material from the same teacher during the same school year, but without the cell phones.
So then, from April 2010, here's Nora's full interview with Qualcomm's Marie Bjerede:
Both interviews first aired on Spark 112, along with an interview with Peterborough teacher Lisa Noble on the same subject. What do you think of the decision to allow cell phones and other devices in Toronto classrooms?