“Get off the phone!” This is something my mom would yell at me, my brother, and sister when we growing up. It was a time when the landline house phone was our way to connect with our friends and family when we weren’t at school or visiting their homes. We would jockey for the phone because whoever got to it first stayed on it the longest.
Fast forwarding to today I hear this statement more than ever. I hear it at home, at school, and I hear it from other educators. However, I don’t believe it’s a relevant complaint these days. A phone today is not just a phone, but a powerful mobile device with access to an abundance of information and operation tools. Accessing this information is only part of the equation; the other parts are reading, researching, creating, and sharing information.
So, when you see someone using their “phone,” they very well could be reading a book, article, blog, connecting with their personal learning network via Twitter or Skype, researching, creating a digital story, preparing for a presentation, or reading the newspaper. In short, they could be…. learning. How can one get upset with that?