I like how some kids write down their homework these days

I think this is a good example of one of those things teachers should get used to and encourage.

My first instinct when, after I directed students’ attention to the board where I had written a homework reminder, I saw them whip out their phones was, predictably, “NO! BAD!”

But I didn’t say that, because I have seen this before, and once I realized what they were doing, I was proud of them. I don’t see any reason to push onto students a study skill or organizational strategy that may have worked for us back in the paper age but that might be completely inauthentic to them. I definitely couldn’t argue that writing down homework in a day planner works well for my students.

There are still plenty of pen-and-paper kids, for sure. But there are plenty of kids who would never look at a piece of paper, or a planner, and these kids might look at their phones every few minutes. For these kids, taking phone pictures of the homework board is great idea.

So, “Everybody write down the homework” should probably turn into, “Everybody write down or take a picture of the homework.” I don’t say that yet, though. It still sounds too weird to me.




  1. #1 by Michelle Dwyer on November 18, 2011 - 6:55 pm

    I’ve had students also do this with notes on the board that they wanted to look at later. Not sure how well they could do that with their phone screens, but I applauded their effort. Of course at my school where kids really are ultra-polite (plus they were frosh) they asked permission first. Way to go modern technology!

  2. #2 by yoni on November 30, 2011 - 12:18 pm

    I can see value in that. Although taking a picture obviously doesn’t help your brain absorb something the way taking notes does, on an organizational level it probably helps some kids more. Most kids probably don’t look at their notes to make sure they’re doing homework correctly, but if there’s a handy photo on their phone, maybe?
    Thanks for commenting!

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