I also was on a trip with students this past weekend, though only 5, not
65.  A couple of things that I learned and will be doing on any future

1. Require that all students bring a working cell phone.  As Ray's note
indicates, this shouldn't be a big deal in most schools.  There are ways
to accommodate students who don't have one.
2. Have all the students call you, so you can capture the number.  Do
this first thing, and their cooperative instincts will kick in and
you'll get the number.  Sometimes kids don't want to give their numbers
to an adult for some reason, or they may make a mistake in giving you
the number. Capturing the number is almost foolproof. 
3. Establish the expectation before hand that students will have their
cell phones charged, on, and will answer.  Make it clear ahead of time
that a student who does not answer their cell phone when called will be
in violation of your trip agreement.  Obviously, there are times when it
is not appropriate to answer a cell phone or even to have it turned on,
and you are likely to run into these occasions on a field trip, but
that's probably not when you will need to reach a student.

Funny story: One evening, we were on a night tour and one of the
students got separated from the group.  I thought, "No problem, I've got
his cell number."  Problem was, his cell number was one digit off his
home number and he had mistakenly given me the wrong one.  Instead of
the student, I got his mother, who didn't speak English well, and who
suddenly thought her little boy was lost in the dark in a far-away city.
That kind of excitement you don't need!  It took a couple of phone calls
to sort that one out.

Steve Barner
South Burlington

-----Original Message-----
From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Raymond Ballou
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 1:36 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Cell Phone Policy

Dear List:

This past weekend I was on another school's field trip to NYC.

There were about 65 students on the trip (9-12).

All but 2 had a phone for the trip, and my guess is that for the
majority it was  THEIR phone, as opposed to borrowed.

Most of the students also brought a dedicated digital camera, very few
were using the cell phone for that.

The latest phones, touch screens but not one blue tooth headset.

A few gamers had DS's or PSPs and those without audio on their phone had
ipods. Casual games on a phone or an ipod.

The bus was equipped with a security camera and on-board wifi.

Students were at all times occupied by their phones, texting during
meals and events.

One student lost his wallet, but not his phone. The phone came in handy
to call mall security, tip them off, and find the wallet in it's
'likely' location.

Several stories of students using devices as flashlights on the dark bus
or hotel room.

The highlight of this was the student who said she sends 16,000 texts a
month (400 a day).

Over socialized? The emergence of the cyborg?

I do not yet own a cell phone, my mp3 player is broken, and my GBA is
dust covered ...


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