Giving My Cellphone Number to My Students

One of the questions that I am most frequently asked when I give a presentation about using mobile phones in learning and teaching is:

“Aren’t you concerned about giving out your mobile phone number to STUDENTS? “

I’m not.  Here’s why:

  1. I have been giving my cellphone number to my students (ranging from year 8 to 12) for a number of years now, and have never had a student or parent abuse the privilege.  I have not had any prank calls, or abusive texts.  I have had no calls at inopportune times.
  2. If a student really wanted to ring and abuse me, or play a prank by calling to wake me in the middle of the night, why wouldn’t they just ring my landline phone?  The number is publicly listed in the white pages!
  3. If a student did misemploy my mobile phone number, they would leave a trail of evidence to their misdemeanour – and a much clearer trail, than if they called my landline phone.
  4. In my experience, the benefits of having my students networked 24/7 far outweigh any risk.

Like Pavlov’s dog salivating at the ringing of a bell, I think some teachers experience a conditioned fear response when hearing the words ‘cellphone’ and ‘student’ in the same sentence.  It’s just a phone.

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2 thoughts on “Giving My Cellphone Number to My Students

  1. great post as always Douchy. Too many teachers are simply ignoring the power of the devices students already have in there hands. It baffles me how teachers are struggling with student motivation and engagement, yet they are the ones teaching as if it is 1900. Who has the problem?

  2. Hi Andrew and “Mr. Robbo”,

    As a TAFE teacher, my students can be older than the average secco student. Even so, some colleagues still cringe when I hand out my business card with the message to “call if you have any issues while on the course”.

    Being 30yrs old (and kind of btwn X and Y gen) maybe its that i’m more comfortable with technology and understand that genY’ers have that mutual respect if they are given the chance.

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