You may have heard by now that legislation has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (House Bill 363) to ban cell phones and other electronic devices in schools.
Section 1317.1. Possession of [Telephone Pagers] ElectronicI find it interesting that this bill is being introduced just when research is being done on how cell phones, iPods, and other small inexpensive "computers" (Yes, they are powerful computers!) can be used to promote learning. See this article: http://www.thejournal.com/articles/23981. And there are currently over 1,000 free or inexpensive educational applications on iTunes for iPod Touches and iPhones!
Devices Prohibited.--(a) The possession by students of telephone paging devices, commonly referred to as beepers,
cellular telephones and portable electronic devices that record
or play audio or video material shall be prohibited on school
grounds, at school sponsored activities and on buses or other
vehicles provided by the school district.
Since the bill bans "portable electronic devices that record or play audio or video material," how will that affect the use of digital cameras and camcorders that are prevalent in Classrooms for the Future schools? Ironically, I attended several workshops last week at PETE & C on how to use digital photography in the classroom to promote student achievement.
There is a petition online that you can electronically sign if you oppose this bill. It looks like we need to do some letter writing to our state legislators as well.