Survey update and ... Do you know the cell phone policy on field trips?

Tech Talk Tuesday #70: Survey update and ... Do you know the cell phone policy on field trips?

I want to thank the nearly 1,000 of you who took our 1-minute Cell Phone School Policy Survey. We hope to get to 2,000 responses. If you have filled it out, please share this email with friends. If you have not filled it out, would you mind doing so now? Even if you do not know your child’s school policy, please answer what you can. I’m very excited that together we are creating a much needed data set on school cell phone policies in this country along with parent preferences. Thank you all so much!
Now back to our normal TTT. In the past couple of months, I visited schools where the teachers talked to me about concerns over kids and cell phones during field trips. The teachers told me about the upsides and downsides of kids being glued to their phones during the bus rides. They said that one main upside is that it keeps the noise and chaos to a minimum on the bus. However, most of the teachers didn’t want the kids to have the distraction of the phone when they got to the destination and it was a pain to try to enforce a no-cell phone rule while the students were supposed to be engaged in the activity. 
I recently heard from a teacher who chaperoned a day trip where the school decided to prohibit cell phones on the bus for the first time in several years. The teacher commented that “it was like the olden days, kids actually sang songs and talked with each other. But, it was harder on the bus driver.” The teacher also talked about push back from parents who were very anxious about being out of touch with their kids all day. 
My niece is a Boston elementary school teacher and coach. Her school does not allow cell phones on the bus when traveling to away games because the bus ride is considered school time. She told me  “If they were to do something inappropriate it would be on me for not having managed the phone usage. By collecting the phones, there is no chance that something will happen that shouldn't happen.” 
For Tech Talk Tuesday this week, let’s talk about cell phones on field trips and how we all feel about this:

  • What are some reasons that students could benefit from having cell phones available during field trips?
  • What are some reasons for not allowing cell phones during field trips?
  • Are there different types of field trips that would warrant different rules?