Adding Sense to the Cellphone
School Administrator, April 2017
When I first mentioned to my colleagues on the magazine staff that I wanted us to devote an upcoming issue to examining the proper place of the cellphone, they responded, charitably, with quizzical looks.
I had just attended a public viewing, hosted by a middle school PTSA, of Dulaney Ruston’s excellent film documentary “Screenagers” about the powerful influence of the ever-present cellphone on the lives of young students and the climate of their schools. It was my launching pad for this month’s theme issue, which I believe offers a balanced mix of thinking on the subject.
It begins with a piece by Ruston, a physician and mother of two teen-agers (page 16
). It’s accompanied by a fascinating case study of a school district in Washington that temporarily unplugged students totally from their ubiquitous handheld items. (Yes, they managed to survive this starvation diet.)
There’s also thoughtful coverage of harnessing the addiction to cellphones for value-added learning (page 21
) and a story of how a Texas school district uses a bring-your-own-device-to-school policy to its advantage (page 28
I’d truly welcome your feedback on this issue — even to tell me something I already know: I probably live on the other side of the personal technology divide.
Jay P. Goldman
Editor, School Administrator