BC Curriculum Suggestions

The thoughts below are based on my experience working as mechanical engineer for 15 years, my experience as a high school science and physics teacher, my interest in professional development, and my study of problem based learning and how to educate competent, useful and resourceful students. Science K - 9 In general I’m very pleased with the draft K - 9 curriculum. I had sent feedback and ideas about the new curriculum before the drafts were published.

Cell Phones as Calculators

An issue I’m struggling with is whether a science classroom should allow cell phones to be used a calculator. It’s a pretty complex issue with lots of different aspects coming into play. A brief list of pros/cons is: Pros smartphones are powerful computers and can be utilized sometimes people forget to bring calculators to class (human error) one less device to carry, charge, pay for Cons difficult if not impossible to discern between a student that is using a smartphone as a calculator as opposed to using their smartphone for messaging removes the teachable moment of a student having a consequence for not coming to class prepared possibility of cheating on a test or quiz complex rules that will lead to abuse: smartphone ok for class but not test; ok to use if you forget your calculator but don’t make it a habit I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this issue.