Teacher says cellphones can be classroom learning tools - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland teacher uses cell phones as classroom learning tools

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - It's hard for some to believe in the year 2013, but many high schools will confiscate a student's phone for weeks at a time, if a student has a phone on campus.  Other schools are using cellphones as learning tools, in class, and one award-winning teacher says it's revolutionizing education.

Cleveland High's Career Teacher of the Year, Erin Hattabaugh said she learned years ago that old-fashioned teaching methods weren't working for modern students.  They use their phones around the clock, to research, to discover, and to communicate.  That's exactly what she wanted them to do in her honors anatomy and physiology class.  It required a gradual change in school policy.

She says with the instant interactivity provided by WiFi and her whiteboard, she can easily determine if her lesson is getting across to students, and who might need extra help.  There are computers in her classroom, which can be used for major projects, but the devices at each student's fingertips result in quick access to information, and very little disruption.

"The nice thing about these devices," she said, "is that they're very quiet.  The students can reference my lectures on websites, solve problems and they don't have to get out of their chairs."

Students bring their own phones to class, and share with those who don't have one, or didn't charge their battery.  It's not just about researching the subject matter.  The phones, and their cameras provide other benefits.  No more forgetting about when your assignments are due.

Students are encouraged to photograph and copy notes, important dates and other facts that were once "lost" in the paper shuffle.

Hattabaugh's commitment to new technology sends a clear message to students about high expectations and college preparation.  Junior Rachel Seaton said, "It shows that she is staying up to date with technology and how we learn.  This is what we're using nowadays."

CONTACT DAVID CARROLL:  dcarroll@wrcbtv.com





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