Being in possession of a smartphone has become an important milestone in the lives of many youngsters nowadays, just like having a driver’s license did for earlier generations. At home, a large number of pupils enjoy free access to the Internet. Texting and talking with their pals, playing games, taking photos, and enjoying all the other features of smartphone ownership that are now accessible are all things they can do with their phones.
That sort of access in schools may be detrimental to the student, the instructor, and the learning process as a whole, experts say. Students may be more engaged if they have access to technology in the classroom. Moreover, it may serve as a source of distraction, making the learning process more challenging.
When evaluating whether or not to allow smartphones in schools, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to consider. The following are the most important considerations.
List of the Pros of Allowing Cellphones in Schools
1.Cellphones are an unavoidable part of school life.
The school system is a dynamic and ever-changing environment that is continuously changing. Technology will always find a way into the classroom, regardless of the circumstances!
Consider, for example, how the function of calculators in classrooms has evolved from being regarded as an unneeded crutch to being an efficient and important tool in mathematics!
We have seen presentations develop from the use of cumbersome, loud overhead slide projectors to the use of live video projectors and entertaining interactive whiteboards in more recent years.
The broad use of technology is inevitable, and conventional institutions that are reluctant to change may be at a competitive disadvantage….
“If we continue to educate today as we did yesterday, we are robbing our students of tomorrow.”
John Dewey was a philosopher who lived in the United States.
However, even though the statement above was written in response to the numerous outdated twentieth-century schools, it is still very applicable today.
According to Dewey, schools should be the first location in society to adopt innovative new methods, take chances, and question well-established ideas since they are the most vulnerable to change. When new technology was introduced, he viewed it as a chance to improve the learning experience for his students!
Because of his radical new ideas, he reorganized school curricula and adopted progressive instructional approaches, transforming American schools from a passive model to what we have today: a hands-on learning environment that places a strong emphasis on the freedom and individuality of young students.
If John Dewey were still alive today, I am certain that he would support the use of smartphones in schools because of their ability to personalize individual students’ learning environments and make education accessible at any time and from any location.
2.Cell phones in schools are beneficial to the environment.
A new trend known as “going paperless” has sprung up as a result of an emerging technology known as cloud computing. Many companies and people across the globe are migrating from paper-based documents to electronic ones (which need minimal infrastructure or upkeep) and having the ability to access them from any location using their personal devices thanks to the cloud.
In addition to helping businesses save time and money, the paperless movement has also helped organizations preserve the environment all at the same time. Schools should follow suit, given the quantity of paper trash produced by a normal classroom for handouts, worksheets, assignments, and examinations, and reduce their use of paper.
As an example, look no farther than the Clarkstown Central School District (CCSD) in New York, which has implemented a similar program.
Eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools in the district have gone paperless since doing so, resulting in yearly savings of millions of sheets of paper.
A recent four-month period saw CCSD instructors upload 91,000 total papers to the file-sharing system, saving an estimated five million sheets of paper, according to district officials. During the same time span, almost 102,000 unique CCSD student papers were also uploaded.”
It has been shown that switching class materials to digital forms and forcing students to access everything on their devices has resulted in actual, measurable outcomes for the CCSD.
More significantly, the schools of the CCSD have imparted a priceless lesson to their students: cultivating sustainable habits and seeking environmentally friendly alternatives are rewarding pursuits!
3.Phones in schools are used to educate students on digital literacy.
In this day and age, virtually all children grow up in an environment where computers and mobile gadgets are present. In fact, the majority of children get their first smartphone when they reach the age of ten.
Schools that are cutting-edge should give these “digital natives” the direction they need to use technology safely from an early age, allowing them to develop computer skills that will enable them to thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s jobs.
Using smartphones in the classroom for instructional reasons is a no-brainer for Carol Rainbow, a retired teacher, who says the choice was obvious:
Rainbow recognizes that smartphones are much more than just phones; they are powerful portable computers equipped with cameras, speakers, internet access, educational applications, and the ability to communicate with people all over the globe.
Children’s paintings, films, presentations, audio recordings, research on any subject, and many other forms of creativity are made possible via the teaching of effective use of these instruments.
By using mobile devices to their maximum potential, it is possible to combat the growing tendency of computer addiction and dependency by “converting toys into tools,” as the saying goes.
4.Phones in schools help students communicate more effectively.
The job of the 21st-century teacher has broadened to encompass the functions of encourager, advisor, and coach, among others. Unfortunately, when class numbers increase, instructors are able to devote less time and attention to each individual student. As a consequence, participation in class and student involvement have both declined significantly.
What is the solution?
You probably guessed it… Cellphones are allowed at school!
Teachers may collect student input through smartphone applications, such as discussion forums and crowd-sourcing polls, and get insight into each student’s comprehension of a subject… all in real-time! Taking attendance and assigning marks for exams and assignments may also be completed in a fraction of the time, allowing teachers more time to provide more personalized teaching to each student.
Using PollEverywhere to evaluate student understanding of subject material before a test, advises Ken Halla, a ninth-grade World History and AP Government instructor for more than 22 years.
Teachers may use this tool to generate questions that are then sent to each student in a multiple-choice style, which is typical. Students type their responses into the website, which then compiles them. If a large number of pupils provide wrong answers to the same question, the instructor may quickly prepare to revisit those subjects.
Schools can overcome some of the challenges associated with large class sizes and significantly increase productivity by encouraging a mobile device-friendly environment. Students will always have a direct platform to communicate with their teachers, and they will be taught time management techniques.
5.The use of cell phones in school increases flexibility, convenience, and organizational abilities for students.
Smartphones have rendered the need to carry about hefty textbooks, assignments, notes, and everything else in a bag superfluous and unnecessary!
All of these things may now be accessible from a portable, lightweight device at any time and from any location. Aside from that, calendar and planner applications offer students a chance to develop time management skills while also keeping their academics organized.
For example, a helpful software called Remind assists students in organizing their assignments and notifies them through text message when a due date is approaching.
Ken Halla was “amazed” at how many more students began to do their assignments after introducing the app into the classroom environment. “They didn’t want to complete the job, but it was more that they were disorganized and had forgotten to do it,” Halla reasoned at the time.
A foreign language teacher at Nottingham High School, José Picardo, utilizes cell phones to help pupils remain organized and evaluate their progress.
Students in his class utilize their cellphones on a daily basis to bring up current foreign language news during group discussions, to use online dictionaries, and to download foreign language podcasts, among other things.
6.Having phones at school increases students’ feeling of security.
Students and parents who bring their smartphones to school report a greater feeling of security as a result. This is owing to the fact that they may be required to communicate with one another in an emergency situation at some point.
Contacting parents via the school system may take some time, so one of the best alternatives is for the kid to contact their parents on his or her own. When it comes to medical crises, this is particularly helpful. There are also instances when parents need to get in touch with their kids for a variety of reasons, such as to check on them or to find out why they are running late.
7.Using phones at school allows you to save money.
How can using a cellphone help you save money? To put it another way, let us assume that a kid has access to a phone and that she can readily download learning materials without spending a lot of money. Unlike purchasing books or printing modules, accessing these resources is instantaneous and does not place a strain on the student’s financial situation, which is beneficial for students who are also working while in high school.
Smartphones have the potential to replace notebooks and pencils. Students may also use it to take notes, making it a highly convenient and useful tool.
8.Phones in the classroom make it simple to get information on the go.
Certainly, some students find it difficult to keep up with their top classmates during recitations because they do not have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. Students will be more engaged in class discussions if cell phones are permitted in the classroom. If smartphones are permitted in the classroom, students will have easy access to more information.
One of the most significant benefits of utilizing technology is the ability to look up information in a matter of seconds with a few clicks. Due to the fact that everyone has something to say, there will be more fascinating discussions and exchanges of views inside the classroom.
9.The use of cell phones during class time provides students with additional learning resources.
Cell phones should be permitted in schools for another reason: there is a wealth of additional learning resources available on the internet that can be accessed through the device. YouTube is an excellent illustration of this.
Every year, thousands of videos are posted to YouTube, and a significant number of these films may be utilized as a springboard for teaching a variety of subjects at the secondary level. For example, if a teacher is studying World War II with her pupils, she may require them to view films relevant to the topic in addition to the normal board discussion. Students, particularly those who are visual and auditory learners, will benefit from increased engagement in this manner.
There are other websites that provide a great deal of helpful information. For example, math websites and science websites are both available. Students will just need to go to their website, where they will be provided with more information on your past or current class content.
10.Cellphones in school are used as a memory aid to assist in learning.
Students should use their phones to study for quizzes and exams at school since there are so many of them, and it is advantageous for them to do so. In the event that students are permitted to use their cellphones to take notes or even take photos of courses that are too complex to transcribe by hand, they will be able to simply boot up their phones and study teachings from any location.
When it comes to science class, this is very useful. If they performed laboratory work or came across specific animals, plants, or chemical processes that they may not come across again, they may take pictures and videos with their phone to record their experience.
11.Phones in schools encourage students to be self-sufficient.
This will be feasible if instructors develop lesson plans that include the usage of a smartphone in each and every lesson they provide. The instructor will simply act as a facilitator, and the pupils will have access to all of the instructional materials via their smartphones. Students will become more self-sufficient as a result of this since they will be in control of their own educational experience.
List of the Cons of Allowing Cellphones in Schools
1.It has the potential to cause health problems for certain kids.
Students who are often exposed to the blue light emitted by their smartphones on their displays may experience hyperactivity as a result of this exposure. Even when warm tones are utilized in a “night shift” environment, there may be behavioral issues associated with distraction or a lack of concentration when a smartphone is present in a classroom setting, according to the American Psychological Association. Student screen time at school and home may total more than 10 hours per day if they have access to a computer or other electronic device both at school and at home.
2.It provides kids with access to improper information about themselves.
Despite the fact that President Trump often invokes the concept of fake news when referring to the media, the Internet is the primary source of false news. Students must be taught how to differentiate between information from trustworthy sources and information from non-credible ones. As a result of the wide range of websites that may be accessed via a mobile device, kids may do improper research for their homework. In the course of the school day, they may utilize their smartphone to obtain pornographic material. It is possible that students with cellular connections will be able to circumvent a firewall and access this kind of material, even if a firewall is in place.
3.It provides pupils with a variety of diversions.
The contemporary smartphone is capable of much more than just sending text messages and making phone calls. Multiple levels of distraction may be created by downloading apps for gaming, social connections, and a variety of other activities. A student who is tempted to use his or her smartphone for enjoyment rather than for schoolwork while in school may place more emphasis on establishing friendships and social ties rather than on maintaining high marks, according to research.
4.It raises the possibility of safety issues.
The Safeway organization recently published data indicating that 20 percent of adolescents in the United States who use the Internet on a daily basis report receiving inappropriate sexual solicitation while online. Only one in every four teenagers said that they informed their parents when such soliciting took place. With 75% of children between the ages of 12 and 17 having access to a smartphone or mobile device, the problem of online child predators must be considered while debating whether or not to allow cell phones in schools.
16 percent of teenagers have contemplated meeting someone they’ve only spoken with on the internet. 8 percent of people have met someone they only know via the internet. Because teenagers are eager to meet with complete strangers, parents and instructors must interact with kids on a regular basis if smartphones are allowed in the classroom.
5.It raises questions about the possibility of bullying.
Cyberbullying is a significant source of worry for kids, particularly when mobile phones are involved. As stated by the Cyberbullying Research Center, 33.8 percent of pupils have claimed that they had been victimized by cyberbullying at least once in their lifetime. In the past 30 days, 22.5 percent of people have reported seeing rude or cruel remarks on the internet. 20.1 percent of those polled said they have seen rumors about them spread on the internet. Because bullies have access to someone’s smartphone at all times, there is no location that can be characterized as genuinely secure these days. Therefore, restricting smartphone access may have more beneficial effects on certain students, even if it means reducing their total access to information for the rest of the class.
6.It creates a sense of disconnection.
The quality of an online social relationship has the same worth as a real connection, but is it more valuable? Being glued to a smartphone for a long amount of time may cause some kids to become disengaged from face-to-face social activities, organized sports, and even family relationships, according to research. If students are allowed to use their smartphones in the classroom, a similar separation may develop between them and their teachers, administrative personnel, and even the subject matter being taught.
7.It raises the question of socioeconomic privilege as a result.
According to the Pew Research Center, as of February 2018, 5 percent of Americans did not possess a smartphone of any kind. 23 percent of individuals who own a cellphone do not have a smartphone in their possession at the time of the survey. The greatest disparity in smartphone ownership is seen in rural families. Rural households are less likely than urban families to have a smartphone, with just 65 percent of rural households owning one. As a result, permitting cellphones in classrooms may result in learning disparities not just among low-income families, but also among those living in rural communities.
8.It has the potential to promote cheating.
For some students, using their smartphone to get around a difficult exam question becomes a difficult temptation to resist when solutions are just a few clicks away from them through Google. Teachers or school administrations may demand that all smartphones be handed in before a test or that all phones be switched off throughout the exam to prevent this problem. Students who are prone to cheating would already be looking for answers in other places, but the simplicity with which answers may be obtained may inspire others who would not usually cheat to consider it as an option.
Should students be permitted to use their smartphones at school? There are many important advantages and disadvantages to consider in this situation. Allowing technology to be used in the classroom has resulted in significant advances in learning in many schools. It has also introduced additional incentives for pupils to procrastinate on their assignments. If students are taught how to use the internet securely and how to choose a high-quality information resource, it has the potential to be a pleasant learning experience for many.