Tackling Test Stress Tip 19: Unban Handheld Devices

I asked a number of colleagues to help me come up with some ideas for this series of blog posts. One of the retired teachers looked at me matter of factly and said, “you want a relaxing activity for kids after testing? Let them have their handhelds back.” The rest of the group laughed and agreed that would certainly be a stress reliever for the students. I’m sure many readers will have barriers to implementing this tip, but for those of you who can make it happen, here are some links to cool activities to do with cell phones in school:

A list from Steve Dembo’s blog

Six Things from Lindsay Clanfield

Texting Lesson Plan from Amy Bowllan


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  1. Lauren Coakley said:

    I appreciate the list of things to do with a cell phone – everything from finding maps, vocabulary, research, ask a question privately, watch video, create a podcast, etc. Know from experience that students get stressed when separated from their cell phones and used with guidance – cell phones could be an asset in a classroom.

  2. Diane Aldridge said:

    I have found this to work in my classroom on large exam days. iPods (and similar devices) are generally not allowed to be used in my classroom. However, after the final exam (or similar exams) I allow them to listen to music or play games as long as it does not interfere with the work of other students. I never have any discipline issues and the students definitely seem less stressed out! I have not ventured into the realm of cell phones yet. Since I teach high school, cell phones are frequently used for covert texting. I look forward to considering some of the items on the list of cell phone uses in class. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jason M said:

    This sounds like a great idea because it is a certainty that students would love to be able to use their phones and other hand held’s in class. There really isn’t a day that goes by when students are not either talking about their phone or their new hand held device that they have just bought. It is something that they really get excited about, so it would invariably be something that they would like to have the opportunity to bring into school and use. And while it is typically discouraged in my school to allow students bring in these devices, I believe that an exception being made on testing days would benefit students.

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