Cell Phones Teach Phonics, Animation and More in School Instead of Cheating

Smart phones now have hundreds of applications meant to educate kids—from graphic calculators to animation programs that teach spelling and phonics. And while most public schools don’t allow the devices because they’re considered distractions—and sometimes portable cheating tools—some school districts have started to put the technology to use.smartphone

The key, educators say, is controlling the environment in which they are used. In St. Mary’s, Ohio, a school district of 2,300 students is continuing a pilot program where third-, fourth- and fifth-graders are assigned PDAs for use as a learning tool in the classroom, and at home.

They use applications created by a company called Go Know! to draw pictures and create sketches, journal and write essays, said Kyle Menchhofer, the district’s technology coordinator. Other applications create flash cards for spelling and math.

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(USA Today 07.26.09)

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