Yes, confiscation can be an effective method of classroom management that can temporarily remove a distraction at the teachers/year co-ordinators discretion. HOWEVER, in the instance of technological devices it does not teach appropriate use of technology, self control or social etiquette.
Over the last 2 terms we have been adopting a different approach to managing students that are distracted gaming or misusing technology – this has been supported by our techie and welfare team because it has minimal impact on classroom function:
– REMOVING all internet access
– DISABLING certain programs – itunes? OR whatever they were using inappropriately?
– RESTRICTING ACCESS – so only word/finder/powerpoint (for example) can be used
– REMOVING apps/internet access
– RESTRICTING access to itunes/app store
– NEGOTIATING with parents for course of action
WHY would you do this? – So students that use devices as part of their daily learning can still complete required tasks and not work avoid. Keeping in mind that much of our work set is reliant on edmodo, student access to online servers and software packages – USB files transfer is still available on all options for laptop and bluetooth transfer is still available on iPads. The aim is to still ALLOW the devices use, but restrict it (ie: take the fun out for a negotiated period of time).
In regards to “phone etiquette” I have been known to mimic student behaviour – for example I will take my phone out of my pocket and “text” while a student is in conversation with me – WHY? – so I can prompt them – “is this rude? why? this is what you did 5 mins ago? how is it different from me/you?”
I also adopt a “visibly off and invisible” approach to mobile phones if they are a nuisance, turn them off – put them away, this is not a blanket rule, it is only for those that cannot execute self control to keep it away during class activities/appropriate times. I do not like a “banned” policy in my classroom as there are so many instances where they can be useful and then the rules are confusing.
We need to remember that technology is NOT GOING AWAY – it is integrated into our lives, confiscation is not always a viable means to deter miss-use as it affects their productivity in other classes, there are other options that can be used, would love to hear your opinion and how you model appropriate use to your students.