A hot topic right now is banning or allowing cell phones in schools. I read an article “5 Reasons to Allow Students to Use Cell Phones in Class” by Michael Soskil. Let me start off by saying I already disagree with the title of this article. Before reading the rest of the article I put a few thoughts of mine together… Even though people can make many points on how smartphones are useful in classrooms, they are still a distraction when it all comes down to it. There are traditional aspects that still belong in the classroom and smartphones will completely eliminate these. Technology is important to incorporate in the classroom but there are numerous other ways this can be done. The following are my thoughts on their 5 reasons why cell phones are useful in class.
1. The points they made on smartphones being almost crucial in all careers is true, however this doesn’t mean that they should be used in class. If a job requires a calculator to be used, students should learn how to use calculators. Having a calculator on a smartphone will just be more helpful and convenient in the future or at home.
2. Their second point was pretty valid. If schools are having budget cuts maybe they should look to allowing the students’ to use their smartphones in class. However, this may also be difficult if some students don’t have a smartphone or even a cell phone. This could cause more problems.
3. Tests of recall may not directly prepare students for what lies outside of the classroom, but everyone must still know this knowledge. Students still need to learn the content and recall information in order to pass through the grades. Cell phones may be a good way for students to collaborate with each other but this does not mean that they should be required to do this in class. I believe that cell phones are starting to take away the face-to-face contact, and having them in school is proving this even more.
4. Instead of completely allowing cell phones in a classroom, maybe teachers can incorporate computers and iPads more often so that their students can learn how to use these tools. Administrators using iPhones or iPads is not exactly a double standard because students are supposed to be learning or listening, not using their iPhones all through class.
5. This point I do agree with. Teachers are a great source of teaching students how to be “safe” with their technology. With that said, it does have to be in the right situation or atmosphere.
Overall, I don’t think that cell phones should be completely and strictly banned from schools, but I do believe that they shouldn’t be a main aspect in the classroom. Technology should be incorporated and there are many other tools that can be used that dont involve having cell phones out in class. I think that allowing students to explore on iPads or laptops can reach the same focus that they wanted with smartphones. Having smartphones out and openly allowed in class can cause so many distractions because of the personal aspects involved in them.
We should look at this resource to get tips on using iPads and technology in the class!