The students also were allowed 900 minutes of talk time and 300 text messages a month to use outside of class. Teachers monitored the messages and reprimanded students if any of the activity violated the school’s standards.
And then from the teacher who administered the program:
But Ms. Kliewer also said that she spent much of her own time at night, and during weekends and holidays, monitoring the students’ phone use and occasionally disconnecting phones remotely when students broke the rules.
Let me just say that I have serious doubts about the benefits of putting cell phones in the classroom, and think this is a good story that represents the difference between adding technology to classrooms and integrating it. And, I don't think my own personal time is best spent monitoring text messages and phone use. When I'm spending personal time outside the classroom working on school-related things, I think it should be about curriculum planning, reading, thinking, learning more, and so on.
I also don't think research funded by a company that has a vested interest in its outcome is all that convincing. Certainly, additional research is needed in this, looking at the other variables in the situation (such as teacher knowledge on how to best use them in the classroom), and so on.
It's unfortunate how politicized education is, from the powerful influence of the textbook lobby and standardized testing companies (Happy coincidence that the big four test producers also happen to be - you guessed it - textbook publishers.) to the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on medical schools. I hope we can hold off on adding another industry to that list. At least until there's some more convincing evidence.