I am doing some research on this topic as our next lesson for the Newspaper Reading classes is on this topic. The story the students will have to study is from this site and relates the story of some 13 year olds that filmed a teacher with their mobile phone when he was yelling at students. There was an indiction that the teacher was deliberately provoked.
It is an interesting issue as here in China the students live long hours on their mobile phones and they are permitted to have them in class, and they do use them in class despite class rules. When I have privoulsly complained ot the hierarcy about this, I am met with giggles and the story that since many have their English dictionaries in their mobile phone, they must be permitted to use them.
I have in the past confiscated cell phones/mobile phones until the end of the lesson, and spoken sternly to the offending student/s, but it really makes little difference. They love taking photos of the teacher "performing" in class, so I have no idea what film there is of me.
In some American schools they have been banned in classrooms - and I think that is appropriate.
Some time students tell me that they are using their dictionary, but I can tell if that is so! I also tell them that if they have a dictionary in their phone to leave it on the desk in front of them, and any use of a phone under the desk is obviously not allowed!
It is common for a student to run from the classroom with her phone going in here ear, or to excuse himself during an exam because mother is phoning.
I do think there will be some issues in the future if there is evedence that constant mobile phone usage will cause health problems. What I think is rather amusing is that they can chastise me for going to KFC once in three months, but continually use the mobile phone. In class, in the bus, in the hair dresser, in bed!
I wonder what the future holds for them?