Cell Phones in Classroom

And what teachers have to say about it

By Donovan Nutting

Most schools have cracked down on a strict phone policy in recent years, finding more and more creative ways to keep those tiny little devices out of our hands and in our pockets. Every student has experienced it one way or another. Those times when even doing as little as having it sit on your desk can be enough to drive teachers absolutely nuts.

However dramatic it is, teachers dislike phones; but for fair reason. With the insurgence of social media platforms that have appeared over the past decade, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with friends. When the phone comes out, it’s almost always to Snap a friend or keep a streak rather than to look up something actually insightful.

With how easily distracted students can get via their phones, we leave ourselves with no grounds to argue the potential benefits they can have if they are allowed in class.

The current phone policy in classes is inhibiting in many ways, especially with how far and beyond teachers go with enforcing them. No matter the reason, be it to check a notification, do some quick math, or even to handle an emergency, most teachers hiss at the very sight of phones being pulled from pockets.

The perception of phones being absolutely bad has been engraved in teachers brains, it seems, as no excuse can prevent one from sternly requesting that you hand it over to them for the rest of the period, an unnecessary punishment that honestly does no good for either party. There are some however, that do realize the potential that cellphones have.

“Cell phones are a tool, that when used properly, can provide so much.” These are the words of Mr. Johnson, an 11th grade history teacher with a notoriously strict phone policy. When asked about the prospect of cell phone usage in the classroom, he had surprisingly good things to say.

They can be used for calculating math, using the dictionary, or even looking up quick facts that can make learning class content easier for everyone. However, the lack of “deep critical analysis” and easy distractions that they provide is just too big of an issue to be solved with any other solution than to keep them stored away.

Mr. Johnson even feels as strongly towards the policy that he encourages Skyline take up methods used by San Leandro schools, and have phones actually collected and stored away by the school to be returned to students at the end of the day.

Phones have the potential to be hugely beneficial for us, and as long as we can be responsible with them, there should be no limitation on academic phone usage.


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