The May 2009 Issue of Get Connected, published by Education Networks of America (ENA), featured an article about cell phones being used as learning tools at Greeneville High School. The article, entitled "Co-opting Cell Phones for the Classroom - Knowledge is Power - and It's in the Palms of Your Students' Hands," explained how and why Principal Dr. Linda Stroud came to the decision, regarding cell phone usage and students, that if you can't beat them, join them!
The idea is working, according to Dr. Stroud. During the 2008-2009 school year, teachers have begun using cell pones for instructional purposes. One example of this is Mr. Jason Horne. Mr. Horne, who teaches French at GHS, is very tech saavy and is using the cell phones in several different ways in his French classes. Students use phones to find word translations, currency converstion rates, and answers to questions about cultural differences through search engines such as Google and ChaCha. Students access these sites by dialing 466453 for Google and 242242 for ChaCha. Students are also taught how to distinguish reliable sites from unreliable sites. Mr. Horne also makes use of Gcast, a hosted service for creating podcasts for free. According to Mr. Horne, cell phones act as "little computers" and are now a valuable part of his classes. He estimates that approximately 95% to 98% of students own cell phones.
Just recently, Dr. Stroud and Mr. Horne traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana to make a presentation to the Superintendents and Technology Directors in the State of Indiana about GHS's use of cell phones in the classroom. According to ENA representatives, feedback received regarding the presentation has been very positive.