Readers’ Blog

Cellphones in the Classroom

Viewed 11378 times 2018-5-28 20:41 |System category:News

The biggest controversy today in education is regarding kids bringing cellphones to school. One school in eastern China, takes the phones from the kids and destroys the phones. Another spends a few hours before school begins, frisking students and searching for weapons or cellphones.

With President Xi's call for innovation and technology to expand in China, education is a place where both can be very useful. Just in the school that I teach several classes a week, we have followed technological trends in upgrading our presentation multi-media from the old overhead projectors to 10,000 RMB interactive boards that contain computers with massive touchscreens. We no longer even need chalk for the chalkboards. With a few swipes, we have a ready-made board that we can not only use, but, we can save whatever we write on it to be used at a later date. The best use of this that I've found is, reviewing for exams with saved displays from previous classes.

As noble (or ridiculous) as it sounds to be gathering cellphones and smashing them with hammers, innovative educators are now using cellphones to teach far more effectively and successfully than they have in the past.

I recently read that 40% of high school teachers use an online platform called Quizlet to present their lessons. Not only can they present their lessons, but, through a cellphone APP, the students can later access the lesson and engage in learning in a variety of ways. The primary feature is an excellent flashcard program that actually reads English and Chinese aloud. It has various functions in the platform to engage the students in group activities, effective game-learning, testing and solo-game learning.

Quizlet is not the only platform that is used in the West for delivering lessons and empowering the learning process for teachers and their students. There are other similar platforms as well. 

Right now, education in China seems to be at a crossroads of utilizing readily available (and free) technology or rejecting it and continuing in the same vein that it has for perhaps more than 50 years. With the outdated mindset of battling technology, failure and frustration for students, teachers and educators will come.

The old proverb says, "People perish for lack of knowledge." There is no greater evidence of this than in primary and secondary education. The hostility against technology (cellphones) comes due to the lack of knowledge of knowing how to use it in advancing education to higher level than it has ever been in the past.

The wise thing is to 'use the technology' and stop fighting it. 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands

Like 0 Share


Comment (0 comments)

facelist doodle Doodle board

You need to login to comment Login | register


Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


Recent comments

  • Is Hong Kong So Special? 2019-10-15 19:23

    I had lived in mainland of China for decades , and now I've lived in HK for decades .  HK is special of course , as it is as every city : Beijing and Shanghai ardifferent, and same at the same time.  HK and Guangzhou ,  the same situation too.   People of the two places speak one Cantonese  dialect, but with sight different accents, and vocabularies,  as  HK people bring in more English words to their Cantonese.    Same , as well as  different, in many aspects.     I think one contrasting thing lies in  the degree of wholeness. While GZ people share more values ,  HK people are divied in basic values and life style.   Before 1997, English speaking people and non speaking had different way of life.  Just one example, there was  a place called plain living people 's night club, in fact it was a night market for cheap goods.  And bus takers were diffrent from sub way commuters.   Not to mention, mid level residents were never going to same place as the bus takers.     Now a days,  HK is divided by politics.     Also one case,  600 medical professionals worte declaration condeming local police force, followed by another 600 in support of HK police.

  • Should All Foreign Teachers Leave China? 2019-9-1 11:09

    The title of the essay doesn't make sense. We cannot ensure or make all or everybody to do the same thing. Hitler can't, Napolean can't and Trump can't either.

Star blogger










Most Viewed




Most commented




Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email:
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.