Many teachers and students clash over the use of cell phones during class; however the use of these mobile devices is actually more good than bad. While they pose the threat of being a distraction from students’ learning, they can provide endless useful information in a matter of seconds. The use of these phones, particularly in schools, has become more popular every day, and are becoming more essential to people’s lives. Over the past years, the number of students who possess a smartphone has increased dramatically, and that increase is here to stay.
An article in Student Tutor online titled “Cell Phones in Schools,” makes a good analogy: “The education system is a constantly evolving and dynamic landscape. Technology will always find its way into the classroom. For example, think about how the role of calculators in the schools went from being dismissed as an unnecessary crutch, to becoming an efficient and essential tool in mathematics. More recently, we’ve seen presentations evolve from using bulky, noisy overhead slide-projectors, to live video-projectors and fun interactive whiteboards. [Therefore] The widespread adoption of technology is unavoidable, and traditional schools resistant to change can be detrimental.”
The amount of information a smartphone can provide seems endless. A student can search questions for any subject, and a multitude of answers will appear. Giving students the access to search this information will benefit them in many ways. Kennedy Warneke from Pierce Public Schools says “Cell phones can provide somewhat of a distraction during class, but they can also be an asset to the student by teaching them responsibility and preparing them for their future jobs while also giving them the assurance that they are safe.” Students will learn how to find information for themselves which may be necessary for future careers they pursue.
On the other hand, the use of phones in class is not perfect. Students get the ability to become distracted instead of doing their schoolwork. They can play games, read material they should not be, or text other students. However, with proper monitoring and teacher guidance provided to students, the distraction factor should become less and less of an issue. Ken Halla, a 22-year teaching veteran, explains, “It’s harder to commit the negative behaviors when the phones are out and the teacher is walking around.”
Overall, students benefit with more access to smartphones in the classroom. These teach them responsibility, and how to find proper resources for questions they have. The threat of the phone becoming a distraction can be avoided through a teacher’s proper guidance. With the world evolving and becoming less pen and paper, and more technological, the way students learn must evolve as well.