In this essay, Philip and Garcia argue that visions of mobile devices in the classroom often draw on assumptions about the inherent interests youth have in these devices, the capability of these interests to transfer from out-of-school contexts to the classroom, and the capacity for these new technologies to equalize the educational playing field. These overly optimistic portrayals minimize the pivotal value of effective teaching and are implicitly or explicitly coupled with political agendas that attempt to increasingly control and regiment the work of teachers. Through discussing student interest and issues of educational technology in urban schools and highlighting the affordances and limitations of the texts, tools, and talk that teachers might facilitate with these devices, the authors offer a teacher-focused perspective that is sorely missing in the contemporary debates about using mobile technologies in schools.

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