Cell phones, while only fairly recently becoming the high tech items we know and love, have become a huge part of our society. It seems like everyone and their dog has some sort of smartphone. In fact, a study by the Pew Research center in Washington, D.C. says 73% of teenagers own or have access to a cell phone. Teachers have complained about the boom in cellular device usage, but is the fact that kids use their phones in class actually a bad thing. It’s me again, your favorite investigative journalist, and I’m here to figure out if kids should actually get to use their phones in class.
A 2010 study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the University of Michigan showed that in schools where students were permitted to have cell phones 71% of students sent or received texts during the school day. In schools where students were allowed to have their phones with them at school but not use them in the classroom 65% of students sent or received texts, and in schools where students were not allowed to have phones in the school at all 58% of students texted throughout the day. It’s clear to me that whether phones are banned from classrooms or not, students will continue to use them. So why not incorporate them into the daily routine of the classroom. There are many teachers who have already attempted integrating these devices into their lessons, and, for most, it’s worked. Two students from Boston college surveyed teachers in a school that encourages students to use mobile devices, and most of the teachers thought the devices helped in the classroom.
Cell phones allow students to have easy access to an entire internet full of information that could potentially help them in their classes. Many teachers have already begun to allow students to look up the answers to questions they have over notes and even find videos online that help them understand the material better. If cell phones can do so much good, why do we portray them as bad? While there are students who would use phones for texting or games during class time, those who want to learn are able to advance their learning much more easily with an electronic device.
While cell phone use can be astronomically good, it comes along with some concerns. As I said earlier, there are students who would not use their cell phones for class-work only. However, many schools use their wifi to block websites and social media apps that would distract students during school hours. This combined with the fact that there are students who want to further their education doesn’t present a fool-proof solution to the problem at hand, but it’s enough to reason that cell-phone use in the classroom is safe.
So there you have it, my take on cell-phone usage in the classroom. As a student myself, I am aware that I may be a bit biased and attached to my phone, but I do believe that cell-phones can help rather than hurt.