I was very disappointed to read in the media today of the coalition government's plan to ban pupils from using mobile telephones in schools from September this year.
I understand that, in the hands of some unruly students, a mobile telephone could be a major distraction and a way to disrupt and prevent learning. However, I feel that a total ban on mobile telephones is not only a short-sighted measure but would cause more harm than good in the long term.
As a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages the use of mobile telephones in my classroom over recent years has increased participation, improved creativity and encouraged independent learning among my students.
To you, the tabloid press and the general public, a mobile telephone, it seems, is a weapon of mischief. To me, it is so many other things.
In my classroom a mobile telephone is:
the way to access the most up to date foreign language dictionaries.
a homework diary.
a tool for downloading and creating podcasts and educational video files.
a voice recorder to aid pronunciation and revision.
a video recorder to record dialogues for peer and self assessment.
a tool for sending answers to an interactive whiteboard.
a revision aid.
an excellent way to show independent learning.
I urge you to reconsider this proposal and think about the consequences such a decision will have on teaching and learning in our schools.