Should children have cell phones at school
The debate over cell phones in school is a sticky situation. As an educator, no matter which side you fall on, you can see the points of by the opposing viewpoint. Even though I believe cell phones can be a major contribution to the 21st Century learning environment, I will mention some of the point that make me wary too.
Ill start with the things that make me a little nervous. First, cell phones can be a safety issue. Two years ago my school had a problem and needed to call a code red over the intercom. This meant that we all had to lock our students in our classroom, lights out and away from windows and doors. It was a tense situation because most of the students and teachers didnt know what had caused the code red. Many students started calling or texting their parents telling them someone had a gun, and parents starting showing up at the school. What the students didnt know was that the situation was already under control and no one had a gun. These types of safety issues are very well explained on the National School Safety and Security Servicess website. Then, there are the students who will try to take advantage of the situation. Students who will use their phone to text friends or check their Facebook page instead of doing what is asked of them. These reasons are why, even though I am pro cell phone use, students need to be monitored when using them.
There are many great reasons why students show have access to cellphones in school. This is the 21st Century! Students are used to have instant access to information 24 hours a day. They have internet applications on most of their phones that would allow them to get information needed for projects, papers, and class activities. Suite 101s website has a great list of things students can do with a cell phone in class. One great tip Beth Lynne lists on this site is to have students who are slow notetakers or have a hard time copying notes take a picture on their phone of the notes, to be copied into their notebook later. Ths way the teacher doesnt have to wait for that one student and embarrass them. Another great tip she adds is to put in place a buddy system, where one student will text the homework assignment to another if one of the pair is absent.
I feel the biggest push for cellphones is school isnt coming from the education community at all, but the business world. When students leave the safety of the classroom at graduation, will they be ready for what awaits them? The business world is fastpaced and expects students to be able to do things as instantly as possible. Are we preparing students enough for this environment? I love the Get Cell Phones in Schools article on Bloomberg Business Weeks website. It discusses why the business world thinks schools are stuck in the 19th century not even 20th!. My favorite thing about this article is their reasoning for why it may actually help schools to let kids use cell phones. Things like the lessening of stress on the schools servers since the kids would be connecting to the wireless internet provided by the cell phone company or the fact that there would be less IT problems are some examples.
Overall, I feel like not allowing cellphones in school is holding our students back. I feel like the benefits outweigh the risks. I think that were students allowed to use cell phones in school, they may even be less tempted to text or facebook since they are allowed to be using it.
After reading several responses to both sides of the argument, I determined that activated cell phones should not be used in education. I agree with some of the certain points made by those who support using cell phones in education, unfortunately, after teaching two years of 9th grade, I do not think the benefits outweigh the potential risks. I agree that we as educators should promote technology in classrooms, but I think schools have enough resources that can perform the same conveniences as cell phones, but can be monitored much better. It is very difficult, and most times impossible to make sure students are using cell phones appropriately.
According to some articles I researched online, cell phones can cause a lot of harm to other students and can present a huge distraction to other students. com, they explain that cell phones can be used for cheating and taking private pictures of other students such as those changing in gym locker rooms. Students have also used cell phones to call in bomb scares. Since these calls were placed from cell phones, it became extremely difficult to track who made the calls. Also, rumors have disrupted schools and have even resulted in decreased attendance due to fears of rumored violence. Finally, even when cell phones are put on vibrate, they still cause a distraction and disrupt the educational process.
I have read comments by teachers who say they collect old cell phones as tools used to take photographs and record videos/audio in their classroom. I think this is a great way to access student collected audio and visual into an assignment, but this can easily be done without the phones being activated to a cell phone service. 2010. Cell Phones at School: Should They Be Allowed? Family Education. Should Kids Have Cell Phones in School? Gale, Cengage Learning. Retrieved from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_hb 3033/is_1_107/ai_n29 117793/