The editorial supporting Texas City Independent School District's cellphone ban reminds me of Plato's arguments against teaching reading in the Phaedrus ("Texas City ISD made the right call on cellphones, The Daily News, Aug. 21). The ability to memorize long passages will be compromised if people can read.
Teaching students to use multi-purpose smartphones with propriety makes better sense than the Luddite policy of banning tools. I suspect if studies were done back in the day, they would have found an increase in bullying by paper notes that could be folded and hidden more easily than the slate tablets paper replaced.
Yes, banning phones means less video documentation of poor practices, but in the long run, video evidence, such as that which went viral in the Donald Neely arrest, forces us to really see and improve accepted procedures.
When effective teachers ask for devices to be put away students comply. If students use phones at lunch to document a picture together with a birthday cupcake brought for a friend providing a tangible posting to her timeline that she's special at school, we're teaching positive uses of technology in learning communities.
Applications like, “The Virtual Hope Box” provide support and needed distraction for people undergoing mental health treatment with an app subtly accessible on personal devices, proving their worth.