Our world has changed dramatically since the invention of cellphones. Not only that but cellphones themselves have come a long way and become a very powerful device.
You can do everything with your smartphone, more simply the whole world is at your fingertips. You can browse the web, send and receive mails, click photos, record videos, make calls, make notes, locate destinations, etc. with the smartphone.
The question remains though, if kids should be allowed to use smartphones in school? The answer is not black and white. In this article we’ll examine the pros and cons of cellphone use in school.
Table of Contents
- Should Cellphones Be Allowed in Schools?
- A Brief History
- Pros of Allowing Cellphones in Schools
- Cons of Allowing Cellphones in Schools
Should Cellphones Be Allowed in Schools?
As smartphones become increasingly popular among adults and youths and it has become a matter of public debate whether to allow phones in school or not. Since there are benefits as well as many disadvantages of using cellphones in school. Many schools face an important question of policy -whether or not to ban the phones on school premises.
These days many students are carrying cell phones to class, even elementary school-aged kids, which might have a negative outcome. Smartphones have surely made our life easier, but they also became a major problem for teachers and administrators.
A Brief History
There is no proper rule regarding the use of cell phones in school but some schools have made written policies regarding the use of cellphones by students in the school premise. Every school has different rules for cellphone use, some schools have put restrictions on student’s use of cellphone in school, on the other hand, some schools allow cellphones but most allow students to bring phones so long as they turn them off during class.
A 2010 Pew Research Center study found that 65 per cent of cellphone -owning students bring their phones to school despite any bans possessed by the school.
In 2017, many schools around the world decided against banning electronic devices such as smartphones on their campus. In France, the use of smartphone is completely banned and few states of the US has a partial ban on smartphone uses, stashing cellphone in lockers during class hours.
Electronic devices such as smartphones create a learning environment for students such as helping with an assignment, Google classroom work, and online study. Cellphones aren’t only for emergencies but are also a valuable tool for students in the classroom. Students can clear their doubts instantly and search for the required information easily because the internet has it all.
According to a report, a cellphone is the biggest distraction in the classroom, and teachers struggle with cellphones daily. This distraction has a direct impact on the quality of education and also wastes valuable class time. Cyberbullying, sexting, googling answers, etc. are negative sides to the use of cellphone in school.
Students have been found misusing cellphones such as cheating, videotaping for bullying, taking pictures without permission, accessing restricted things, watching pornography and some misuse might lead to crime also.
Pros of Allowing Cellphones in Schools
1. Learning Environment
Using smartphones, through various learning apps and surfing web assist in learning. Educational apps provide different mediums for learning like video tutorials, mock tests, and teachers’ notes hence assist in interactive learning through mentor interaction. Students can involve in competitive learning through the internet where they can involve in various events, tests, and quiz.
By having a cellphone available for a student, there is another layer of personal security available to a student. If they feel they are in trouble, they can call an emergency contact number for help.in this way cellphone is helpful to both parents and their children in case of any emergencies. Incidences of attacks at a school, fires, kidnappings, medical emergencies, and other emergencies can be reported quickly for help.
3. Access to Research
In today’s world classroom education is not enough for the students because there are many important lessons out there on which students need to research on. The teacher encourages students to complete the research tasks and the smartphone is a very good way to carry out research. Using cellphone students can dig information on a specific topic using various learning apps, surfing on the web and hence get better results.
4. Opportunities for Social Learning
Social media is not only for entertainment purpose but it is also a great learning environment. Various pages, groups, discussion forums help students to grasp knowledge in various fields. Being connected to friends through social media creates many outcomes for students like engaging in homework collaboration, discussion groups, and forums.
5. Opportunities for Multimedia Learning
Since all smartphones have access to the internet and during classwork, students can watch specific topics on the internet under teachers’ guidance. And later teachers and students can discuss the topic as presented in the video as a part of the learning experience. Visual learning is the best way to gain a large amount of information and it makes retain a large amount of information in a small period.
6. Voice Notes
Voice recording feature can be useful to students who want to record the lecture so that they can revise the lesson. Students can miss some important instruction during lecture time and the voice note helps to cover that part. Students can’t always have immediate access to note, so voice notes can be helpful to jot down some important information.
7. Parental Contact
Allowing students to carry cell phones gives parents the ability to contact their children whenever necessary and also in case of emergencies. Students can fall ill or forget anything at home and request parents to come and help. Parents can also have emergencies where children need to get home. Also with the help of GPS, parents can keep track of their child’s location and whereabouts.
8. Facilitates the Individualized Learning Process
For effective learning, the learning process must be highly individualized. Some students can grasp things quickly in any environment but some students require silence or isolation to grasp things while some need music to focus on tasks.
If cellphones are allowed in schools, students can take lessons on the internet putting headphones on to eliminate distractions and this helps in the individualized learning process.
Cons of Allowing Cellphones in Schools
Bullying is most common in school life and access to the cellphone to students increases the chances of bullying as it creates a new possibility for bullying. Online apps, social media, and other tools increase the likelihood of bullying as they magnify the effect of bullying. Texts, photos videos, voice mail can be spread through the cellphone which aids in bullying.
2. Encourage Cheating
Every piece of information is just a Google search away and with most smartphones featuring a fully featured web browser with access to the internet, the potential for cheating has grown exponentially.
If cell phones are allowed in classrooms during quizzes or testing, there are chances that students will try to cheat by using cellphones and can record or text answers. This has a negative impact on the education system as well as students’ morale.
3. Cellphones are Addictive
Cellphone offers different types of games, social media apps, texting apps that are addicting in nature. Smartphone has become best friend from a virtual world and it disconnects students from the real world.
If students spend much time with cellphone it might directly affect their studies and decreases learning potential. Cellphones make it easier to get disconnected from your families as well as friends as a person gets attached to a cellphone most of the time.
4. Health Concerns
Smartphone emits different kinds of radiations which has an adverse effect on our health and longtime use of smartphone can affect our eyes emits blue light emitted from the screen is highly harmful to human eyes. Health issues like irregular sleep patterns, migraine, weight loss, hypertension, and behavioural issues are some common health issues regarding cellphone use.
5. Misuse of Technology
Access to cellphone makes children misuse the technology by threatening someone, bullying, torturing, doing cybercrime, etc. and get involved in crime. Through the use of the internet, children can get involved in different kinds of crimes as they are easy to lure. And the internet allows access to mature content easily and which is a great disadvantage of the internet.
6. Safety Concerns
According to a study, one in five teens in the US has received an unwanted sexual solicitation through their online activities due to unwanted contact with strangers.
Most of the children hide these kinds of conversations from their parents. This is all due to access to the cellphone at an early age and might lead to sexual crime too.
7. Class Disruption
Cellphones are highly disruptive in the middle of a class which breaks student’s concentration during a class. Cell ringtone, message alerts, and some notification or vibration cause interference to the class. And some student might use their cellphone in the ongoing class which also disrupts the class.
8. Disconnect Students From the Real World
Cellphone helps students to get connects with the whole world at the same time slowly disconnect you from your family and friends. With more involvement with the cellphone, it disconnects you from family events, sports, social activities. With much involvement with an online friend, there is always a threat associated with it.
Concluding the article, we have seen both advantages as well as disadvantages of the use of cell phones in school. If we talk about the positive outcome of cell phones as a powerful learning tool it seems there is no harm in allowing cellphones to school but if we go through the negative effects of cellphone use then it seems appropriate to ban them.
Authorities must make a decision for or against the use of cellphones in the classroom by looking look at both the positives and the negatives about allowing such devices. It would not be wrong if schools allow cellphones with some restrictions under teacher’s surveillance because cellphones create a great learning environment with many benefits.