Use a cell phone, pay a fine

In some Texas districts, teachers can confiscate cell phones and charge students $15 to get their phones back. Cell phone fines have netted $100,948 for Klein Independent School District, which has been charging the $15 fee for two years. The money has paid for art supplies, free P.E. uniforms, pizza parties to reward students and other enrichment activities.

Cell phones can be a learning tool, says Education Secretary Arne Duncan. He wants schools and colleges to deliver course content to phones, reports eSchool News.

“Kids are on their cell phones the 14 hours a day they are not in school,” Duncan said in a recent interview with eCampus News . . . With teenagers and young adults using cell phones constantly, Duncan said, technology officials should find ways to send homework, video lectures, and other classroom material so students can study wherever they are.

Of course, students might use phones less if it meant listening to lectures.

At some colleges, students are downloading course material on their cell phones, avoiding the high costs of buying textbooks. Ball State nursing students must buy an AT&T mobile device to “access lab books, medical dictionaries, diagnosis literature, and other resources throughout the school year.”  Undergrads pay about $250 for course materials that can be used throughout their studies. And they’ve got a lot less to carry from class to class.