|But I Need That Phone!|
|By Joe Bouchard|
The following is an installment in "Icebreakers 101: Hello, My Name is Problem", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.
Instructors today face an attention-grabbing peril. In earlier years, it really did not exist. Yet, as time marches forward and technology inexorably pushes on, this compelling force saps students’ focus from the front of the room.
No matter how interesting the instructor or subject matter may be, students are invariably dragged to this hand-held window to the world. It is the cell phone and its handiness and ubiquity make it a challenge to all instructors.
I am not calling for a total moratorium on cell phone usage in class. There are times such as emergencies that warrant their use. In addition, while lecturing and if challenged by a student on particulars or opinions, I will on occasion allow the use of a smart phone to fact-check. Of course, the student must cite the source.
Otherwise, bye-bye, phones while I am teaching. DO NOT USE YOUR PHONES DURING CLASS is the new mantra. Rather than softly implore students to “please put away the cell phones”, I take this more direct approach. And, at the risk of sounding unapproachable, dictatorial or downright unfriendly, I wrap it in the form of an icebreaker. It is a four-part formula icebreaker, perfect for the first day of class. It goes like this:
In the unlikely event that you try this and all refuse to answer question 4, here are a few possible answers (serious and not so serious)
Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014” and "Operation Icebreakers: Shooting for Excellence" among others. The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.
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