Debate # 6: Cell Phones should be Banned in the Classroom?

This week’s debate regarding the use and existence of cell phones in the classroom generated a lot of interesting points, making it even more difficult for me to decide whether I agree or disagree. The agreed team includes Echo, Lovepreet, and Amanpreet, while disagreeing team members include Bret, Reid, and Leona. Both the team did a wonderful job of representing their arguments. I believe that the effects of mobiles phones at school is a hotly debated topic in many countries. Some advocate for a complete ban to limit distractions, while others suggest using technology as a teaching tool. Schools have introduced the bans for various reasons including to improve academic outcomes and decrease bullying as its indicate in this article by agreed team.. Several researches point to positive impact of banning mobile phones at school on student performance and other outcomes. Understanding the evidence is crucial for best policy.

Smartphones make it difficult for students to concentrate in class. Kids might play games, watch videos, or check out apps instead of paying attention to the teacher. They can easily miss important information. Plus, a ringing or buzzing phone distracts other students.

Also, some kids might be tempted to use their phones to cheat. They could go online and look up answers during a test, or they could text their friends for help. It’s critical that they don’t bring their phones to school – not only because of the distraction in class, but also because there are issues with students filming each other or the teachers, or taking pictures of the teacher. The amount of online bullying and peer-on-peer harassment drops when mobile phones are banned.

In class, students frequently forget to switch off their phones, causing ringing noises or text message notifications to disrupt learning and schoolwork. Since text messaging has become a high-tech form of sharing notes in school, cell phones can still cause distraction for students and educators, even if they are set to silent.

Young people and adults, as seen in the popular Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma from 2020, have an addiction and need to check their phones and notifications anytime they are available. This would suggest that even when the phone’s sound is turned off or the phone is switched off completely, the mere existence of the phone might be distracting. Increased screen usage has also been linked to negative effects on learning and development. There is emerging evidence that phones can be a distraction to learning.

As one of the agreed debtors raises an important point that allowing cell phones in schools will give rise to an unhealthy, unwanted competition as students with expensive and latest model phones will overwhelm those who have got low-cost or old model phones. Not only would there be disparity within a single group but parents would be under constant pressure to get new expensive phones for their children 

Additionally, students might also start browsing irrelevant, inappropriate websites and waste their time which can be utilized for studies. Also, they will be negatively influenced by the content of badly chosen sites which will hamper their overall growth, mindset, and personality as indicated by this article mentioned by the agreed team.

While the problems with cellphones in school are valid, and clear consequences for misuse should be enforced, implementing a blanket policy forbidding the resource altogether would be severely counter-intuitive and unrealistic! as explained by the disagreed team.

Reasons Why Phones in School Should Be Allowed in an article:

1. Cellphones in school are inevitable.

2. Phones in school are good for the environment!

3. Phones in school teach digital literacy.

4. Phones in school improve communication.

5. Cellphones in school increase flexibility, convenience, and organization.

6. Phones in school increase a sense of safety.

7. Phones in school saves up money.

8. Phones in school provide easy access to information.

9. Cellphones in school provide supplementary learning materials.

10. Cellphones in school serves as a memory aid.

11. Phones in school promote independence.

Listed above are just some of the few reasons why innovative schools across the world are integrating smartphones into the classroom.

The Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) movement, which began in the school world as an approach to increase students’ morale and productivity, is now being adopted by more and more schools.

The Bottom Line: Should Students Have Cell Phones In School?

There’s no easy answer: For me, there are both pros and cons to students having cell phones in school. Although they can be used as a learning tool in the classroom, this only works as long as students use them effectively.

This means for teachers who decide to use cell phones (or any other digital device) as part of their lessons, it’s important to set ground rules and keep a close eye on how they are being used. Finding that balance between appropriate cellphone use and knowing when to take a break and turn off the device is something we need to strive for. This may not be easy, but it is possible if teachers and students are willing to cooperate and put the work in.

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4 thoughts on “Debate # 6: Cell Phones should be Banned in the Classroom?

  1. Great job summarizing both sides of the debate. I agree with you we must attempt to strike a balance between appropriate smartphone use and understanding when to take a break and turn off the gadget, It is totally dependent upon teachers and students who are willing to work together and put in the effort.

    • Thank you Shivali for your interesting comment! I truly believe that balance in everything is a key to success as well as cooperation between educators and students in the classroom is also important in a way of achieving success.

  2. Great response! The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is an interesting way of looking to the future and getting students ready for their careers and the real world once they are finished their education. People will have cellphones/devices with them constantly, so it is imperative to stay current and utilize the technology available.

    • Thank you Reid for your insightful comment !! I believe that BYOD should be promoted in classroom because it promotes greater participation in the classroom. When new technologies are incorporated into everyday learning, students quickly become more interested in the material, and thus more likely to succeed as well as it also fosters a positive image in the community and can work wonders in attracting students outside of school lines.

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