Kudos to CNN for it’s published video today, “Texting to Learn.” Unlike a lot of the mainstream media coverage we see and hear about cell phones in schools, this segment does a good job providing a fairly balanced viewpoint on the struggles as well as opportunities available with cell phone technologies in school.
Students in North Rockland Central School District in Garnerville, New York, are interviewed in the second half of the video segment. Interestingly, although this video was published by CNN today, the CNN article version of the episode linked on the district’s website is from April 2010. The language in this video segment and article is worth noting. First, on the school district’s website, instead of “cell phones” the student technology is called “cell phone computers.”
Slip of the keyboard? Unlikely. This is deliberate word choice. In the CNN article from April and in the video episode from today, we read and hear:
… the cell phones – renamed MLDs for mobile learning devices – have opened up new ways to learn and changed their parents perspectives.
MLDs and cell phone computers? These names are used intentionally, I am confident, to HELP those parents (as well as teachers) change their perspectives on cell phones for learning.
cell, edtech, mobile, phone, school, technology, video
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As you pointed out, the terminology is important in this piece and in education on the whole. I think that is important distinction that must be made to teachers and administrators who would still prefer to fight the “put your phones away” battle rather than find ways to leverage for the learning the computers in our students hands.
[…] Cell Phone Computers or Mobile Learning Devices (MLDs) […]
I am an instructional tech specialsit in the North Rockland Central School District which is where Haverstraw Middle School is located. You are correct in that the language around the phones was intentional. This was done so that all stakeholders (including those that were not sure of the benefits of this type of 1:1) were aware that these are powerful computers. We choose to implement this 1:1 in this middle school due to the poor electrical infrastructure which made connecting computers, iwb’s, etc problematic.
I am happy to say that the MLD 1:1 was a success and we are expanding the program this year.