Edmonton school encouraging smartphones in classrooms

 Cell phones, smart phones, androids – regardless of what you call them, the fact that they’re all around us is undeniable. But do they belong in the classroom?

Most schools across North America don’t think so, and currently ban cell phone use in classrooms. However, Edmonton’s Sister Annata Brockman school is taking a different approach.

The school is not only allowing them, but actually encouraging students to use everything from iPhones to iPads and Blackberries during class time.

To help integrate the tools into the curriculum, the school even has a technology coach on staff.

Kandise Salerno, a teacher by trade, has been tasked with training both teachers and students how to use technology in the classroom – a job that doesn’t always come easy.

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“I think it’s difficult for teachers to see effective uses of these devices because it’s not how they learned or taught for however many years,” said Salerno.

The kids, on the other hand, have been easier to convince.

“I think we’re lucky to be able to use it whenever we want,” said one student.

The cell phones are doubling as calculators, dictionaries, calendars, and occasional notepads.

And when it comes to privacy concerns surrounding social media, the students are also getting schooled in safe practices.

Still, not everyone is convinced. We conducted a poll asking if you think you think cell/smart phones should be allowed in classrooms, and only 41 percent said ‘yes,’ while the remaining 59 percent would prefer the technology be kept out of classrooms.

Regardless of what people think, phones being used as learning tools may be the way of the future. Andconsidering other jurisdictions across the country and continent are thinking about revoking cell phone bans in schools, the future may be closer than we think.


With files from Vassy Kapelos, Global News