Criminalizing & profiting off students is wrong

Little has changed here in NYC since the Mayor decided we'd treat students like criminals, have em go through metal detectors and force em to give up their digital devices upon entering school. 

Since then I have written more than 100 articles, taught classes, and a written book about the benefits of harnessing the power of cell phones for learning. This especially made sense when the cell phone-banning city  I work in was distributing the devices to thousands of students as part of an incentive program that won the Cannes Lion Titanium Award

Unfortunately, even after the writing, teaching, and distributing of devices, kids are still banned from using their personal learning devices. 

A couple years ago Will Richardson explained the important lessons this teaches kids.
  1. It teaches them that they don’t deserve to be empowered with technology the same way adults are.
  2. Tools that adults use all the time in their everyday lives to communicate are not relevant to their own communication needs.
  3. They can’t be trusted (or taught, for that matter) to use phones appropriately in school.
Not only are we teaching kids these misguided lessons, but as recently reported in the NY Post & Huffington Post, they must pay an outside company to store them. These companies are making millions every year off our kids.  

So, I suggest this.

Rather than create a system of fear and compliance, why not lift the ban, empower students to use the devices responsibly and support teachers in incorporating the use of mobile devices for learning?
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