Teachers use smartphones in the classroom

MASON CITY, IA – Smartphones are making their way into the classroom and this time teachers are saying it’s okay, as long as it’s for the right purpose.

According to a PEW Research Center study, 73 percent of teachers in Advanced Placement courses  say they allow their students to use smartphones in the classroom to complete assignments.

Administrators with Mason City Public Schools say it’s important for teachers and students to find more efficient ways of learning even if it includes the use of devices.

“I think if they want to use their own and bring it, register it, go through our filter system. I think it’s a plus for everyone,” said Hal Minear, Assistant Superintendent for Mason City Community Schools.

For some, it only makes sense why technology like smartphones can be beneficial in the classroom.

While some teachers still remain hesitant over the introduction of the smart phone tech on the desk of each student, more and more teachers are seeing the device as a tool and less of a distraction, but only if monitored.

“As long as it is beneficial to the learning process. I don’t think integrating is to integrating and keeping up with the times is necessarily the best from an educational standpoint. The more things that you can do with technology and as long as every kid has the same tool at their disposal, I think it benefits the class,” said Bryan DeGabriele.

Bryan DeGabriele is a Math Teacher with Mason City High School and says while he agrees with utilizing the devices in class, he understands why some teachers are still apprehensive.

“When I’m on that white board up there, writing stuff down, I can kind of control that, where as maybe with a smart phone, I don’t have as much control and for a lot of people, it’s kind of scary issue,” said DeGabriele.

“I think it’s crucial that we continue to look for ways to be able to use the technology within the classroom because students are coming with a lot more tech savvy abilities and skills with those devices that we just we’ll use it for educational purposes,” said Minear.

Last year Mason City High School conducted their own experiment in which students were allowed to register their mobile devices with the school’s router for free use.

According to Minear, several students participated and there were no complaints from instructors.

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