Most parents of students today can safely say that they did not have cell phones when they were younger and definitely did not have one when they attended high school. Somehow, we survived our younger years without one because we knew no other way back then. Now, most of us do use cell phones every day and we can’t think of life without it. They appear to have become a disturbingly vital part of our lives.
If you take a look at kids today, you will find that children as young as ten are bringing cell phones to school. This begs the question, is it truly necessary, or is it overindulgence?
A hot debate topic is the pros and cons of cell phone use in schools. Should kids be allowed to bring and use their cell phones to school? This is a challenging question to answer due to the idealistic values associated with it and the societal restrictions raised.
We don’t aim to produce final answers, as the concluding authority stays with the parents and the school board. We can however bring light to both sides of the debate and let the readers decide for themselves.
PROS for cell phones at school
- The ability for a student to contact a parent directly in the event of an emergency or other situation. This is no doubt a great advantage and puts many parents at ease knowing their child can contact them if needed. If plans change, pick up location is different or there are emergency instructions, parents and students can be in touch with each other if needed.
- Students can have access to calling 911, police, hospitals, relatives, etc. More importantly that just calling parents, kids can call authorities if needed, providing security for both child and parents.
- Kids can use their cell phone as a tool to help in academics. Cell phone applications like access to the internet, camera and calculators can be used for learning purposes. A student can snap a picture of the notes on the board if there isn’t time to write down the information. He or she can also put in the date of an upcoming test in the calendar application and so forth.
- Teachers can have students use cell phone to access information online. There are many websites that can be used for academics. If a teacher wants to utilize a website for a lesson, students can access it on their cell phones. Students who are allowed access to their phones for these types of lessons learn concepts more easily and thoroughly.
CONS for cell phones at school
- Students can text during class time. There is no guarantee that a student would not text or use applications for personal use during class hours. Not only is this a distraction to the student and class, it detracts from the focus of their studies and the general learning process.
- Cell phones in the classroom can disrupt the lessons of the teacher. When a phone rings or even when it’s on vibration mode, the instructor could lose his or her focal point in teaching. This can result in a considerable disadvantage affecting the whole class.
- Using a cell phone in class is immensely disrespectful to the teacher who is directing the class. The time, energy and effort that the teacher is giving to her students can be negated with the improper use of cell phones by students.
- The Inappropriate use of cell phones by students can disrupt school safety. Some students may use applications unlawfully and pose a risk to the emotional and mental health of others. For example, they might take pictures or record videos that are questionable in nature or call the school with a threat to prank or have classes cancelled. Cell phones could be used for thefts, drug deals and other illegal activities.
- Students could use their cell phones for cheating. With access to the internet on their phone, the opportunities to cheat in class are readily available. Texting a friend for answers, referring to the internet for answers, or even viewing an image from a textbook on their phone to cheat. Obviously, cheating does not help students but actually hinders them from working hard.
- Not all students have cell phones creating an imbalance in opportunity. In some areas only the wealthy kids have cell phones. Social problems like ridicule, jealousy, bullying and theft can result from this. This makes adjusting in school rather difficult for some students.
The advantages and disadvantages of having cell phones in school are many, and each one boils down to its own array of valid points. This makes coming to a conclusion for everyone hard. Having a proper discussion about these issues with the school board and parents is a good way to deal with this.
However, parents may want to decide for themselves about their own child. First, talk with your child about cell phones at school and how it affects their class time and learning. Then ask yourself, is my child having a cell phone at school leading to his or her education or is it mostly a distraction?