Cell Phones at School: Should They Be Allowed in the classroom?
Cell phones are a relatively new technological device that has become an indispensable part of our life. It is used by all generations today, so to see a kid of the kindergarten age with this device is not a surprise already. Modern phones are used not only to connect people but also provide a variety of other opportunities that are so appreciated by school children. These young people can’t imagine their existence without phones and as a result, many contradictive studies have appeared. One of such problems connected with cell phones is their presence and use at schools and now we are going to evaluate all the pros and cons of this issue.
Impressive statistical data on cell phone use at schools
Apart from the main function of the phone nowadays it can be used for various purposes. It is considered to be the second most important symbol of status among teenagers (the first one is clothing), so its main purpose today is to maintain a social status of the school child. The other facts connected with phones prove that they are used by children both from the positive and negative side for education. And even schools where they are officially forbidden confirm that students still carry them taking them in parts. So let us see what conclusions were received after the surveys on the use of phones had been conducted among school children:
- 65% of students still use cell phones in school premises even being aware of the official ban;
- 35% of pupils admit cheating using their phones;
- Astonishing facts: 23% do not consider sending questions to their friends as cheating; 19% do not refer surfing the Internet to find right answers to cheating; 48% of pupils use phones to warn their schoolmates about any tests or quizzes;
- Girls (76%) use cell phones more often than boys (64%);
- The great mannerism of modern children: 64% of pupils admit receiving or sending messages being in the class and using banned at school phones; 25% of them even managed to make or receive a call.
These overwhelming facts make it obvious that cell phones must be banned at schools, but still, there are many debates left as their benefits are also very important.
Reasons to allow using cell phones at school
- Students are taught responsibility
The variety of functions of the cell phone make it a powerful tool in the hands of youngsters, but children must be able to differentiate where they are allowed to use these devices and under what circumstances it is completely forbidden. It will teach youth to treat their phones with responsibility and mostly for educational purposes. Phones can be useful on the lessons to find some extra information, but they should be left outside the classroom to combat cheating.
2. Avoidance of double standards
It is natural that pupils will show their astonishment if teachers are allowed to use mobile phones and children aren’t. Moreover, if there is an official ban on using phones at school and a teacher is noticed with his device in hands, he will never face the same consequences students have to face when caught red handed.
3. Emergency cases
One of the main reasons why parents allow their children to take mobile phones with to school is definitely any case of emergency. Every school is not insured from threats, disasters or any accidents and parents feel more secure if they can connect with their kid anytime.
In addition, pupils are prone to forgetting their things at home and a call home can prevent a kid from the stress that can be received admitting his fault.
4. For education purposes
Apart from many functions that distract student’s attention cell phones can be also used as learning aids. Calculators, search for extra materials, visual representation, vocabularies, a calendar are only some of the functions that can be useful for learning. Let alone a diversity of modern educational applications that can provide additional knowledge in different fields of study.
5. Memory assistance
Students always have difficulty in memorizing the volumes of information provided at schools. Phones can be good assistants in this task as it is enough to switch on your camera and make a photo to keep important information. Students also enjoy making voice notes to be able to keep track of their necessities and assignments. The calendar is also a quite important thing as children can set tasks with reminders for future and perform them in time. It helps to be more organized as papers and notebooks have a tendency to be lost or forgotten, but such a lovely thing as a phone — never!
6. GPS tracking
There is hardly a parent, who wouldn’t like to know exactly where his or her kid is. GPS tracking is a great benefit for such parents. They can easily determine the location of the child and even if a child is reported missing, he will be much easier to find if he has a mobile phone with.
Why are cell phones not allowed in the classroom?
Being the source of public debate many school staff representatives still, focus on the drawbacks of cellular phones and their bad influence on the educational process. Many educational establishments have noticed the outweighing drawbacks of cell phones for students and banned them, but all that seems only a kind of the game for students, who still find opportunities to carry them at schools. Let us see what problems can be brought about by simple mobile phones.
- Distraction of attention
Being aware of the main student’s objective to study at school it does not prevent them from using phones that are great distractors of attention. Even simply lying next to the student makes him or her lose focus and get interested in the phone more than in the topic of the lesson. Some pupils visit the social networks or communicate via instant messages, the others play games or find other more interesting activities than studying.
Cheating has also stepped to the age of the new technology with the appearance of mobile phones and tablets. Now it is not necessary to pass notes or whisper if you can send a text message or surf the Internet for a right answer. Of course, you would ask where a teacher is when that happens. The way is rather simple: each pupil can excuse himself to visit a washroom and do his task there. There are also some great applications like calculators or libraries with books to be used too.
Mobile phones have immediately become a target for thieves after their appearance. Moreover, some parents do not understand that the purchase of expensive devices for children can also make their kids be subjected to attacks and injuries. Thieves can spot their victim anywhere: in the street, bus or schoolyard, so children are not protected. Such expensive devices can also result in envy and there are children, who can try to steal or damage the thing intentionally. That is a great reason not to take cell phones to school.
4. Various socioeconomic status of each pupil
Not all parents can afford to buy a smartphone or even a phone. The others present their children with incredibly expensive devices that become a reason for jealousy and resentment of others. Even teachers are sometimes shocked by things brought to school by pupils, let alone children. For mobile phones have become a status symbol today it is advisable to leave them at home to avoid any troubles.
5. An objective for predators
Another reason to leave a cell phone at home is an inability to control the social media activity of children. Their pages are easily spotted by predators who hunt for money or wish to get any other benefits or make use of children’s naïve character. If you want to monitor their online activity, try to allow your child to use the phone in your presence but not at school, of course.
6. A source of the electromagnetic radiation
Electromagnetic fields produced by phones come into the direct contact with pupils’ brains and influence the overall state of the organism. People, who use cell phones, are several times more subjected to brain tumors, acoustic neuromas. There were other adverse health consequences like leukemia, infertility and different types of cancers. Only imagine how detrimental cell phone towers are!
Undoubtedly, cell phones have both pros and cons, but it does not make them desired assistants at school. Schools are not those places that require such costly devices to be brought to. Moreover, even for the sake of studying they can be used at home too, it is much more difficult to control the use of cell phones in the classroom. Scientists confirm the fact that mobile phones are to be banned at schools but for this ban to work properly parents should also contribute to this fact and monitor their kids. As a result, educational process will be more productive and easy to control.
Originally published at Cell Phones at School: Should They Be Allowed in the classroom?