Smart phones and technology in general has personally eased my life not to mention the boost in productivity I have experience ever since I discover all the apps on my phone. In the past two years I have listened to over 165 hours of audio books. The days of sitting in the couch and cozy up to a great book are gone but thanks to technology I am able to listen to great books, such as novels, non-fiction and even articles. In my phone I have everything I need to run and grow my business. In the classroom I am able to snap quick pictures of the children during various activities and text them to their parents with several updates throughout the day. I am also able to quickly research facts or recipes during a preschool lesson and even play music during nap time. But even when all of this facts promote this electronic device as a great addition to the classroom there are times where it translate as a great distraction and when head teachers and directors create rules for care givers to ban or diminish the use of phones it often comes off as a problem hard to control.
So when is OK to use the phone at the daycare setting or classroom?
I am in agreement to allow phones near at all times after all most teachers, assistants and providers are parents and they need to be within reach in case of an emergency. When I think the phone has become nothing but a distraction I will ask my staff to put it away with the volume up in case someone calls them, I also advice them to let their family and friends know that if they really need to speak to them they have to call, no more texting. Often when I allow phones I find people texting about random things or perusing Facebook and Pinterest for no good reason.
These are the excuses I hear:
- “My husband can’t be on the phone so he texts me quickly when he needs to ask me something”
- Reality: these messages easily turn into discussions about each other’s day, anecdotes, and decisions on whether they should go to Jerry’s BBQ this weekend.
- Solution: suggest your employees to carry post notes with them, they can jot down all the things they are dying to text, at the end if the text message is so important it won’t be a text. “Larry just broke his leg” has to be communicated through a phone call, a quick one…remember Larry is in pain.
- “I need to know about my children”
- Why? Are they traveling around the world with the globetrotters? if they forgot their lunch, left their homework at home, want a play date or just to let you know about the birthday party on Sunday- IT CAN WAIT.
- Solution: children can learn to jot down all the things they need to talk to you about. They also have to learn that there are times when is appropriate and necessary to make a phone call and there are also times that aren’t. If the child is old enough to go home after school make sure you have written down their rules, chores, important numbers and things they need to know (meals, snacks, how long they can watch TV for, etc) and post it everywhere for them to see them.
- “I’m checking my email”
- Reality: if you are wondering when the prince of Nigeria is going to send you those millions of dollars you will be waiting for a while. No reason to keep checking.
- Solution: I can’t see a reason why checking emails several times a day while caring for children can be of any importance, anything can wait. The same as texting and driving, if you get your eyes off the road your chances to crash increase greatly. If you take your eyes off the children the chances someone will trip and fall also increases.
Smart phones, Tvs and tablets are a great invention, just remember that with great power comes great responsibilities. If the phone falls into the wrong hands it becomes nothing but a distraction that sucks the much valuable time from you while teaching you nothing. Make sure to set limits when it comes to phones so everyone can have a day in which they can be present at all times. If you have ideas on how to incorporate phones into the classroom and lessons share them by commenting below. Thanks!