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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Cellphone jammers in schools

   
Author Topic: Cellphone jammers in schools
Rawrain
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So I've been thinking about cellphones a lot and how much I hated them in school which, was starting to quite literally get out of control, even the teachers were giving up...
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So I was thinking what if there's a cellphone jammer, I thought I was being original turns out -no but these things already exist so it spares me having to learn about radio waves and inventing the device myself ;o
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Just from what I am reading some teachers in Colleges are trying it, and some High Schools too, but the problems aren't just there Middle School too, things only go worse as the technology becomes more and more available...

Now the debatable facts are (In the case of standard schools, not College)
-Moral reason, cellphones are typically forbidden in schools.

and
-Legality, someone that knows laws better than me (most of you, maybe).... this is quite disputable...

Wikipedia reads that the FCC can give permission for private use, and I would assume a school falls under that category...

Next thing would be that the children would be unable to call the police in case of an emergency.... I call bs on this one, every single class room I've been in has had a corded-phone so even in the most dire of situations a phone is never far away... and to think about this what exactly did people do in case of an emergency before cell phones...

Discuss, Dispute, and tell me how I might get myself into a school board hearing so I might be able to bring this up :D ( I don't know any pro-active school parents to tell me how /: )

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Lyrhawn
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Why not just have more stringent enforcement?

If a HS student has a phone out and shouldn't it's confiscated until a parent comes to get it.

If a College student has a phone out and shouldn't, their grade suffers.

I imagine that would weed out most of the problems.

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Mucus
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I suspect that even if cellphone jammers were legal in schools (I have my doubts on this), such measures wouldn't survive a couple school shootings or terrorism incidents.
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Rawrain
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MS, HS, College the students grades will suffer (unless they are cheating of course), but it's not about these individuals it's about those WHO go to school to learn and have to put up with these distractions not out of choice.

When half a classroom of students (theoretical, in actually the number is more than half) the few students that may actually take learning seriously suffer from such annoyances...
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I always took my education as seriously as I could, but focusing is very difficult if what you hear in the backgrounds is -click click click- and bright screen flashes when they open their cells, pointing it out to the teacher several times after class never did any good, because the teacher has to CATCH them actually using them.. if I were to just point it out in class not only would I be making more of a distraction, but turn myself into a living target(I am a rather skinny and weakly looking person, just because I can defend myself a whole lot better than it looks, doesn't mean I have any obligation to fight, I am a pacifist by nature but that doesn't mean everyone has to follow my rules /: ) and of course the parents just come in and get the phone and give it back to their kid... and so it repeats

Even more problems arise trying to confiscate cellphones before classes even start, 1 being the overall waste of time, and it makes students who do not have phones possible targets of bullying which would be a whole 2-3 more paragraphs explaining that and I am lazy ._.
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So long as the school get's the FCC's permission and makes it know there are MANY phones available in the school in case of an emergency, I see this as just freaking awesome, almost as epic as the website blocking systems most schools have now-days....

One downside about these devices, I read anyways, about possible interference with pacemakers... I also laugh at the fact some teachers were starting to mess with cell phones in class TOO, this would be a total rock in the pond eh?

:Edit - Reply to Mucus' post
Wouldn't such incidents supplement the proof that cell phones are having a great impact in schools? In the end just more criminals to lock away, the only loss may be those who get injured in such instances... also would you like your children going to school with students who would shoot up a school merely because they aren't allowed to use cell phones O_o?

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Shawshank
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At my university, professors are told they aren't allowed to ban cell phones entirely in class- only their use. That's because after the Virginia Tech and NIU shootings, our public safety department now has all student cell numbers and in case of an emergency they will send out a mass text message warning students.
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Rawrain
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That's ridiculous a simple intercom system would be 10x more efficient, both deterrent to the shooters, and more helpful for individuals who do not have/bring cellphones...

So instead of suggesting against the use of cellphones in class it actually gives them a purpose...

There are hundreds of better security measures than a text message saying get out of the building this way cause people outside are shooting O_o... how about some security guards with guns ... or a press the red button and summon the police en-mass button, hell camera's outside would be good too...

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Why not just have more stringent enforcement?

If a HS student has a phone out and shouldn't it's confiscated until a parent comes to get it.

If a College student has a phone out and shouldn't, their grade suffers.

I imagine that would weed out most of the problems.

:Polite laugh:

Thats a quant idea, unfortunately. You'd be shocked at the sorts of priorities a school might have when it comes to pleasing parents and students regarding phone usage. I haven't worked in the American system, but I have been told off by a principle for confiscating a phone- the school saw it as a liability to *not* allow phones. It was a private school, but still. The idea that it disrupts the teacher's ability to maintain order doesn't occur to some parents, or administrators, at all.

Youve never taught at that level, so you probably don't realize that part of the problem is really that even taking the energy to battle phone use is disruptive to a teacher's sometimes tenuous ability to maintain authority and find time to actually teach. When seruptitious phone use is the absolute rule among students, the issue is really, do you want to sacrifice the time and energy you have stopping it, and what will you actually accomplish? I've found the answer can be, respectively, you don't, and anyway, not much.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rawrain:
That's ridiculous a simple intercom system would be 10x more efficient, both deterrent to the shooters, and more helpful for individuals who do not have/bring cellphones...

An intercom system is impractical on the scale of most university campuses. And a simple alert system is also not necessarily ideal- it being less informative and easily ignored. Electronic warning systems are a good alternative actually.
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Rawrain
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Let's see... just about everyone has a cellphone, if you mean for each of the students to actually get out their cellphones and read the messages just for the 'we are under fire message', so what about those people whith conciouses who won't take out their cellphones in the middle of class or the who don't have the,. are they going to have to rely on the several people who are rude enough to do it, to scream aloud?

Perhaps a simple siren, educate the students on the meaning, and you have something a whole lot more practical, it even warns people who are not students in the college, and nearby neighbors(if there are homes nearby) and also an effective way to summon police at the same time too...

Besides these things, this was really aimed towards middle school, and high school, college is iffy because in one way or another you're paying for it, but then again so is everyone else you shouldn't have any right to disrupt others, the library silence should always be respected in school....

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AchillesHeel
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For a time my store had security at night, one of the guys was a full time guard at the state prison and we would talk a lot. When he mentioned the cell phone problems in the prison I asked why they don't just use the jammers and prevent the problem altogether. Later he said that he mentioned the idea at a staff meeting and it was ignored entirely.

I don't see why anyone including the teacher would need to use a cell phone during class, and they could just not put them in the cafeteria office and teachers lounge.

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El JT de Spang
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Maybe you should just make peace with the fact that cellphones and texting aren't going anywhere, and adjust to it. Before cellphones it was passing notes, then pagers, then actual voice calls, and now texts. You can't stop kids from communicating with their friends -- don't expend the energy trying. You are absolutely tilting at a windmill here.
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Geraine
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As long as the cell phone is on silent, I think I would be indifferent about their use. I'm all for personal responsibility. If the student wants to use their cell phone instead of listen to my teaching, then their grade will suffer. If they don't learn the material they won't do well on the tests.

In college course I took there was a kid that would sit at the back of the room and play World of Warcraft on his laptop every class. The class was very easy and he felt he didn't really need to pay attention to get a good grade. He ended up getting an A in the class so it worked out for him.

I could probably do that in an accounting class. A science class though? Not so much.

In a highschool capacity, I think it is important to understand that cell phones are a learning tool. There are apps that turn your phone into a scientific calculator, show you the periodic table, download textbooks, etc.

I wonder if a teacher has tried integrating cell phone use into their teaching rather than banning it completely. It might actually make their jobs easier.

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Scott R
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[quote]If a HS student has a phone out and shouldn't it's confiscated until a parent comes to get it.

This is how it's been done at my 8th-grader's school for the past 3 years.

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El JT de Spang
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I can't believe it's taken your kid 3 years to pass 8th grade!
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rawrain:
... also would you like your children going to school with students who would shoot up a school merely because they aren't allowed to use cell phones O_o?

How would I put it. There are many school shootings, but I wouldn't have put "not being to use cellphones" at the top of the list.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
...educate the students on the meaning...
Heh.
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Rawrain
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Scientific calculators, almost every math class I've had has the, the ti-83's are as good as it gets... Oh and the periodic table, it's in my science book, hell I even had a nice big print out from my popsci magazine..

Integrating, is just another way of giving up, with jammers up students would be left with mearly passing notes, and that crap don't work when the person you're wanting to talk to is somewhere else..

What about poor children? I never had one of these new fancy app phones, just a cheap $15 prepay to call my step-father to come pick me up from places like the movies...

I have had teachers confiscate phones in the class, but it never helped the next day they were back at it again, I can NEVER relive all the things I've missed in school due to all these distractions, it's very hard to become educated when no one else cares if it makes things harder for you O_o...

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Damon
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quote:
What about poor children? I never had one of these new fancy app phones, just a cheap $15 prepay to call my step-father to come pick me up from places like the movies...
And we've hit your motive. "I can't have X, so nobody should."

You are entirely capable of ignoring a few people pushing buttons and the occasional "vibrate" buzz, and brief emissions of light from a tiny LCD screen. If you can't, then how do you focus with cars driving by and windows everywhere?

So let's be clear: your argument has noting to do with your education. Your argument is your attempt to find a scapegoat for your status as a social pariah, which you blame on your relative poverty.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Damon:
quote:
What about poor children? I never had one of these new fancy app phones, just a cheap $15 prepay to call my step-father to come pick me up from places like the movies...
And we've hit your motive. "I can't have X, so nobody should."

You are entirely capable of ignoring a few people pushing buttons and the occasional "vibrate" buzz, and brief emissions of light from a tiny LCD screen. If you can't, then how do you focus with cars driving by and windows everywhere?

So let's be clear: your argument has noting to do with your education. Your argument is your attempt to find a scapegoat for your status as a social pariah, which you blame on your relative poverty.

Well, the argument for school uniforms is somewhat similar and has everything to do with education quality.

Cell phones are just one more status symbol that can be used to ostracize the poor in schools, which makes it more difficult for them to learn. Do I think taking them away solves the problem? No, not really, because kids will always find a status symbol to measure everyone against, so you're really just treating one symptom among many. But that doesn't make it an invalid complaint.

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Geraine
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There will always be something one kid has that another does not. There be things poor kids have that a rich kid does not and vice versa.

I think if you ask a school administrator why they think phones should be banned, 90+% of them would say because it is a disruption, not because there are those without them.

Some classrooms here in Vegas have ipads for each student. They never take them home with them, but there is one for each student's use in the classroom, and it is used as a learning tool.

And I thought when I read Ender's Game that the classroom at his school would always be fiction. [Smile]

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Belle
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At my school, cell phones are absolutely prohibited in the code of conduct which every student and parent is given a copy of.

I confiscate cell phones when I see them. They don't have to be in use - they just have to be in my sight.

I turn them into the office and the parent has to claim it. If the kid refuses to give me a phone, I contact the administration and the kid is escorted out of my room. It's an automatic suspension for defiance. If they give me the phone, they get detention and the parent has to pick up the phone. If they refuse to give it to me, the parent STILL has to pick up the phone and the kid is suspended. It has happened, though. Each time, the other students tried to talk them into giving it to me, but they wouldn't.

They learn very quickly - no phones in my room, period. I don't have much trouble with phones. I probably wind up taking about 4-5 a year and 1-2 students a year are escorted out. Some teachers give warnings, I don't. The copy of the Code of Conduct they've received is their warning. I make that clear the first day of school every year. If I see a phone, I take it, no warning, no second chance. I teach an urban, high poverty, mostly minority student body. I firmly believe the key to classroom management at my school (and any school) is firmly defining rules, then enforcing them equally and without falling into the trap of "Oh, this time I'll just give them a warning...."

I don't support a ban because I use my cell phone at school during my planning period. [Smile] I even call parents on it sometimes - though I prefer to use the school's phone.

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pooka
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Cellphones are confiscated at our high and Jr high, though my child didn't have a phone in Jr. high.
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scholarette
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In one of my college classes if your phone ringed, the teacher got to answer. I thought that was a fun way to enforce the rule.
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Scott R
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Belle is awesome.

It is known.

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Hobbes
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Just an anecdote, but an amusing one. A friend of my Dad, another professor at his University, got sick of the phone calls during class. Unable to ban them in any real way he took another route. Sometime in the early stages of the semester he arranged with a student for a little show (unbeknownst to the rest of the class). The students phone went off in the middle of class and he (the student) answered it. The professor walked over, calmly asked for the phone and the student gave it to him. He then proceeded to hurl it across the room, smashing it to pieces on impact; at which point he simply continued his lecture. According to him it worked pretty well but he has a dog in the fight...

I'm of mixed opinion on the issue itself. I've never been fond of the rather drastic loss of rights students have to accept for attending school (which, except in the rare instances that home schooling is really possible, is mandated by law). I'm not sure if cell phone use is a civil right, but right to property certainly is. Meaning I'm not 100% comfortable with them being taken away. On the other hand I hate the way most use cell phones with a fiery passion: it's a big part of why I don't own one. I finished my undergrad around the beginning of the cell-phones-are-now-ubiquitous era and I can only imagine how incredibly distracting (not to mention rude) their use is now in colleges and grade school. Banning phones out-right, or installing a jammer (sounds expensive to me, for school constantly complaining about using 30 year old textbooks due to budget constraints) seem extreme. I'm not overly concerned with the really extreme scenarios ("what if there's a shooting any the only way to let the police know is by cell phone and now they're all gone!?!") which seem to mostly be extravagant, nightmarish fantasies. The everyday stuff in a a continuously more mobile society seems like a legitimate thing. I don't really know, not owning one and all, but I'll believe there's some sort of need.

Belle's solution makes sense, though I'd let the kids have them as long as they remained turned off and out of sight in the classroom. I suppose the more conditions you put on it the harder it is to enforce, but it seems reasonable to me and would make me feel better about how much we take away from students.

Well I'm done rambling. I think I need some sleep now.

Hobbes [Smile]

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aeolusdallas
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My friend have two children and they have a very strict "Keep your phones on you at all times" rule for them. If some teacher ever tried Belle's rules on them they would have lawyers at that school before the end of the day. Can't say I blame them. If I had kids I would have the same policy of having their phones on them at all times and teacher be damned.

The farthest a teacher should ever be allowed to go is a simple "turn them off in my class" rule.

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Rakeesh
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That's nice and fiery, aeol, but you did see the part where Belle said, "I confiscate them when I see them," right? Meaning if they're, say, in one's backpack or pocket where parents could still get in touch with the children in an emergency, the policy wouldn't be invoked.

'Turn them off in my class'...well, that completely defeats the purpose of a 'cell phones on your person at all times' rule. I don't know why you would suggest that, but get angry at a hypothetical removal of a cell phone in accordance with school rules if it's seen. It doesn't sound like you've thought this stance through very carefully.

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Sala
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I teach fifth grade. Our school's policy is that cell phones are fine, as long as they're off and out of sight. A couple of years ago it became very handy for kids to have cell phones when we had a sudden need to have an early dismissal (I don't remember why . . . maybe it was a sudden and unexpected snow storm). There were only two phone lines out of the school. We had kids calling home on their phones and my phone because we couldn't get lines out of the school on the school phones to let their parents know they were coming home early. I was very grateful for those phones that day, though i must say I was quite surprised at just how many cell phones those 9 and 10 year olds had at school!
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Belle
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If a parent has an emergency and needs to get in touch with their child they can call the school and they will notify me over the loudspeaker that the kid needs to come to the office and talk to their parents. By the way, that's exactly what would have to happen if my husband needs to get in touch with ME in an emergency because my phone is not on unless it's my planning period and I don't have a class. There are tons of jobs where employers don't allow phones - restricting use of a cell phone during school or work hours does not violate anyone's civil rights. [Smile] I'm not sure exactly what the lawyer you say would be there by the end of the day would say or do or on what grounds they would claim that the taking of the cell phone was wrong. A 30 second google search revealed several court cases which upheld a school's right to confiscate phones used in violation of school rules. The only contention seems to revolve around whether or not schools have the right to search the content on the phone or not, based on expectation of privacy. I don't care aobut the content on the phones, I just tell the student to turn it off, give them an envelope to put it in and have them sign their name on the front of the envelope so when it goes to the office it's clear whose phone it is.

Our code of conduct also explicitly states that neither the teacher, administrator, staff, or school is liable for the phone or any damage done to it. The student and parent assume all risk when they bring a prohibited item into the building.

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vallie05
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(Post Removed by Janitor Blade. Spam)

[ October 10, 2011, 10:16 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Rakeesh
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Is this a bit of surprisingly (to me) in-context jammer-spam?
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rivka
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Why should it being essentially in-context surprise you? What do you think spambots DO all day?
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Rakeesh
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It was just more in context than I'm used to, I guess. *shrug*
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rivka
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Hatrack gets fewer spammers than some other places. In-context(-ish) spam is very common.
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The Rabbit
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As a University Professor, I'm concerned that line between what's a cell phone, and what's a computer is becoming very blurred. It creates problems for exam security. I want my students to be able to use computers for their exams, but I'm concerned that it would be all too easy for a student to use their hand held computer to photo the exam, send it to some one else, and get back finished answers. I can work with students being able to look up information and equations on exams, that's not problem. But I have no idea how to set an exam that is a fair assessment of the students ability if they can easily and surreptitiously communicate with others inside or outside the classroom. The ability to block cell phone and other wireless communication during exams would be a great boon.
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Misha McBride
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
As a University Professor, I'm concerned that line between what's a cell phone, and what's a computer is becoming very blurred. It creates problems for exam security. I want my students to be able to use computers for their exams, but I'm concerned that it would be all too easy for a student to use their hand held computer to photo the exam, send it to some one else, and get back finished answers. I can work with students being able to look up information and equations on exams, that's not problem. But I have no idea how to set an exam that is a fair assessment of the students ability if they can easily and surreptitiously communicate with others inside or outside the classroom. The ability to block cell phone and other wireless communication during exams would be a great boon.

I don't know what courses you teach but the math department at the college I attend has an interesting testing policy. All tests are taken in the math lab testing room, which is monitored by large windows and closed circuit video. All belongings except a course appropriate calculator, ruler and some pencils are to be left in a cubby or lockbox. Everyone is to have their phones turned off before entering, and if the testing room monitors see a cellphone out for any reason the student gets an insta-fail for the entire math course. They take test security very seriously.
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LargeTuna
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I know plenty of teachers that would be against the cell phone jammer. Probably not as many as those who are for it, but I think there would be enough.

Back when I was in high school, I had more than a few teachers explain that their phone was on because "my son might need me" or "I'm expecting a call from the hospital".

I even remember multiple instances where the teacher actually picked up!

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
It was just more in context than I'm used to, I guess. *shrug*

Sounds like somebody is frustrated their spam-bot was found out.
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caitlin
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(Post edited by JanitorBlade. The spammer jammer was temporarily malfunctioning, exposing us to the cosmic spam of space. I decided to just remove the link so folks who want to read the spam don't feel slighted.)

What does a cosmetology school just outside Dallas need with a 5W adjustable cell phone jammer(link removed)? Blissful quiet in the classrooms, apparently. But the school's decision to install the jamming unit (it had three more that weren't yet set up) in 2009 was one link in a chain that last week led the Federal Communications Commission to propose a $25,000 fine against the company hawking the products.

[ June 12, 2012, 09:36 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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