Schools Urged to Ban Camera Phones

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Jorge

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Agreed, cell phones have no use in class rooms, in cars while people are driving, in restaurants, in movie theaters. Damn Star Trek....they should ban cell phones period, there is nothing that important that cant wait until you get to the office or home. ... :smile:
 

Konical

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Good Morning, David,

As a teacher who retired about three years ago, I have have mixed feelings about this.

For many years, I routinely had photo equipment with me at school, mostly because I was involved with the yearbook and had a very legitimate need for all kinds of photos, ranging from the standard, posed group shots to candids of students going about their normal school activities. I also had, of course, student photographers who occasionally used their cameras for similar purposes. I would hate to see the day when such routine photographic activity becomes restricted because of exaggerated paranoia.

At the same time, I was always aware that my photography had the potential to detract from the educational process. I always consulted my colleagues in advance about any intrusions into their classes and usually tried to work only in situations (lab, shop, PE, band, etc.) where some hustle and bustle was the norm. Since I was seen so frequently with camera in hand and an obvious purpose in mind, and since I didn't aim for any images which might be considered embarassing in any way, I suppose that some kind of mutual trust was present. I don't recall many student reactions which were even slightly negative; indeed, many students were clearly glad to think that their images might appear later in the yearbook.

Even so, I can certainly understand the position of a school which bans the use of cell phones with cameras or even cell phones in general. If I were back in the classroom today, I would certainly prohibit cell phones of any kind in my classes, even if the school did not. The damned things are disruptive! Teenagers can easily find enough distractions without having the ring of a cell phone in middle of class, much less the prospect of a student answering the thing and trying to have a private conversation when the class attention should be on the business at hand. A cell phone with photo capability would be even more objectionable in class, especially right now when its relative novelty would rate it as an attractive nuisance. (For those of you who are not educators, be aware that freshmen in a low-level class, for example, spend much time actively searching for things which will distract them from anything which resembles work.)

I also recall a recent article (The Wall Street Journal ???) which described the problem of students using multi-featured cell phones as a means of cheating during exams. Some professors are apparently now requiring that electronic devices be temporarily placed at the front of the room, away from their owners, during tests. Though mostly college students were cited in the article, but you can bet that high-schoolers won't be far behind.

I suppose that banning in-school use of photo cell phones at all times and in all circumstances might be a questionable policy, but properly-run schools have gradually and properly been able to reassert a reasonable level of authority over student behavior (after the disastrous decline caused by the "anything goes" idiots who popped up in the '70's). As a photographer, I resent the current paranoia over cameras and, especially, tripods(!) in public or semi-public places, but it seems to me that having an orderly learning environment in schools does take priority and that responsible schools may impose various restrictions in the interests of both student safety and effective education.

Now, about the fools who talk on cell phones while driving .. .

Konical
 
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sparx

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gregdavis said:
I actually support a ban on cellphone cameras in schools. As well as cellphones themselves, though not for the same reasons. Kids are in school to learn, not take pictures during math class and send them to friends in writing class. These are distractions to their education. In the long run, it's better for them.
I totally agree with the ban on all cellphones in classrooms. Your argument above should be justification enough but they have to hit us with the old paedophile chestnut. That is what, at the moment, is creating the paranoia that is making something like street photography so fraught. Constantly bringing parents attention to the evil that is taking pictures of children is just going to make the situation worse.
 

Lee Shively

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I agree with banning cell phones in schools. In restaurants, libraries, bookstores and most other public places too. Damn nuisances. As for cell phone cameras--ban them too. If the kids want to take pictures, let 'em use real cameras with real film.
 

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Jorge said:
Agreed, cell phones have no use in class rooms, in cars while people are driving, in restaurants, in movie theaters. Damn Star Trek....they should ban cell phones period, there is nothing that important that cant wait until you get to the office or home. ... :smile:
Jorge we agree on something :wink:
 

Foto Ludens

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unfortunately, cell phone jammers are illegal in the US, but i agree
 

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Jorge - Oh Yeah! I want one.

Konical said:
Now, about the fools who talk on cell phones while driving .. .

Konical
Funny you mention that. A lead story here in the last couple of days is about a high profile actor who recently hit a parked car, drove off the road, through a fence, corner of a house and then into the neighbours' living room. He is currently nursing cuts and bruises and awaiting the decision to press charges by police. He was 'texting' on his cell phone at the time of the accident.
 

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Andre R. de Avillez said:
unfortunately, cell phone jammers are illegal in the US, but i agree

This is one of those funny quandrys in the US, the FCC has ruled jamming illegal, but they have no police, so someone would have to actually see you jamming and call the police to arrest you. How may cops do you think are going to take this seriously? Thye will probably tell you to turn it off, that is if you are caught or are dumb enough to display the jammer. I would simply place it inside a coat pocket or fanny pack and let it rip. I think I am getting one....lol...it is not illegal in Mx.... :smile:
 

Flotsam

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It would be great if they could rig those cam/fones to capture the expression on the driver's face at the instant that he realizes that the truck in front him has come to a sudden stop while he was distracted by chatting on the phone.

It would make an interesting photo essay.
 

Jorge

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Andre R. de Avillez said:
I know, but seriously Jorge, do cell phones even work in Mexico? :D
You would be surprised at the prevalence of cell phones in Mexico.
 

Graeme Hird

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Apart from their use in schools and public change rooms, I'm happy that cell phone cameras are so prevalent - they're going to hurt digital P&S camera sales before too long. That will mean that only low res digi pics will be seen by most people, making our well crafted prints appear that much better again.

Bring em on, I say ..... Let the gadget freaks drive the relative quality of our work through the roof! (And the prices!)
 

Foto Ludens

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Jorge said:
You would be surprised at the prevalence of cell phones in Mexico.
Hey Jorge, I know. My humor doesn't always translate well in here...

As for cell phones, in Brazil, at least, it's out of control. One thing that really caught on down there is pre-paid cellulars. Buy a card of 25 bucks, and when you talk it out, it simply goes dead. So no extra charges, no paying for incoming calls. No montly bill means that when you're broke, you don't call anyone, but you can still receive calls. Much better than here in the U.S.

The result is that everyone, or many people of all social levels, have access to cell phones.
 

jd callow

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The telecommunications industry buys the laws that govern our phones (as do all the biggies). They get paid twice for every call and if its prime time they get fatter still.

We are such sheep in the USA it is ridicules.

We have another good one here called No-Fault car insurance which basically makes it your fault regardless.

Oh never mind. I'm going to go watch freedom on the march. Swear to god -- half the populace of the USA thinks we are on our way toward liberating the world (whether they like it need it or want it).

I need a pale ale.

Andre R. de Avillez said:
Hey Jorge, I know. My humor doesn't always translate well in here...

As for cell phones, in Brazil, at least, it's out of control. One thing that really caught on down there is pre-paid cellulars. Buy a card of 25 bucks, and when you talk it out, it simply goes dead. So no extra charges, no paying for incoming calls. No montly bill means that when you're broke, you don't call anyone, but you can still receive calls. Much better than here in the U.S.

The result is that everyone, or many people of all social levels, have access to cell phones.
 

Jorge

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Andre R. de Avillez said:
Hey Jorge, I know. My humor doesn't always translate well in here...

As for cell phones, in Brazil, at least, it's out of control. One thing that really caught on down there is pre-paid cellulars. Buy a card of 25 bucks, and when you talk it out, it simply goes dead. So no extra charges, no paying for incoming calls. No montly bill means that when you're broke, you don't call anyone, but you can still receive calls. Much better than here in the U.S.

The result is that everyone, or many people of all social levels, have access to cell phones.

Andre, sorry, I realized later that I was a bit dry without meaning to...sorry buddy.

It is out of control here too, just like in Brazil, in exactly the same manner, the pre paid cell phone card. You see these morons everywhere, supermarket, book store, video store, etc, etc talking on their damn phones. There is nothing worse than being at a restaurant trying to read or hold a conversation and having an idiot on the next table screaming to his cell phone. BTW, why does everbody scream when talking on cell phones?.......
 

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On trips to the USA over the last 5 years I'm AMAZED at how rare phones are. Until about two years ago I saw very few even among profesionals. I certainly saw none in use in the street. The last time I was over a year ago, they were relativly common amon the attendees of the conference I was at (hi-tech, hi-salary), but still none in the street.

In the UK, I'd guess 80% of the population has them, and that increases to about 99% of under 30's. EVERYONE has a phone.

The Pay-as-you-go card system means anyone can get a phone, without a contract. At their cheapest, a new phone was 30 pounds ($50), including 5 pounds of credit. Anyone in the USA doesn't get the scale of the problem over here.

On the plus side the article (actually written about the area I went to school), doens't mention restrictions on view-camera's in schools.

Hey - they're banning digital camera's - why are we upset?

Ian
 
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