The debate about whether schools should allow cell phones on educational premises is a never-ending controversy. Not to mention, cell phones have become a major part of everyone’s life, and it’s almost impossible to keep children away from them.
Countless students use their cell phones to talk to their friends, text, play games, shoot pictures and videos, and browse the internet. The necessity to be online consistently is the prime reason behind carrying cell phones to school.
Apart from the source of research, cell phones can play the role of distortion in students’ lives, and the consequences are concerning. Technology can indeed keep students engaged, but there should be limitations.
Let’s check out points about cell phones in school pros and cons, to review phone usage policies.
What are the Advantages of Bringing Cell Phones to Schools?
Before you look at cell phones in school’s pros and cons, there are a few facts that you should be aware of. Mostly, teenagers carry phones to school, and the statistics will shock you.
In recent research, it has surfaced that more than 95% of teenagers sneak cell phones into school, whereas 92% of their text during attending class. So, cell phones can be intimidating and cause distraction.
However, there are some perks to carrying a cell phone to school by a student. Let’s check out the positives of allowing cell phones in schools.
Adds a Security Layer
Parents can call their kids’ phones to get in touch with them without any fuss. That’s why parents allow their children to carry a cell phone to school so that they can get a quick update.
Additionally, a student can inform the parent about the pick-up time or any plan after school. Moreover, students can report any emergency or other activities directly to their parents.
This means that using cell phones in school can retain the students’ and their parents’ peace of mind. Phones can be a great tool to survive emergencies.
Enhances Learning Environment
A lot of learning applications are available on cell phones. Additionally, cell phones are compact devices to surf web browsers or websites. Therefore, students can access any educational app or website with the help of a smartphone.
They can watch video tutorials or solve puzzles and quizzes on specific educational applications to learn something new daily.
On the other hand, smartphones make it handier to record what’s being taught in the classroom. It makes it really easy for students to captivate the topic later without missing anything important. Additionally, students can easily Google anything to learn about them.
This is a great advantage for introverted students who are not confident in questioning what they don’t understand. Hence, they can conduct research later using different search engines available on the web.
Helps in Accessing the Current Location
As a parent, you might be anxious about where your child is right now. Every smartphone now comes with GPS-enabled features that are pretty accurate in letting you know the exact location of your kid.
You can check out your children’s locations and be sure about whether they are at school or wandering around. Parents can enable Family Sharing on iPhones or Family Sharing on Android devices to keep an eye on their child’s locations.
Assists in Keeping Distractions Away
This might surprise you as cell phones are reported to be one of the main distractions for students. However, it is true that cell phones can keep students focused on music. Students can use their own cell phones to listen to music, which helps them build concentration.
Thus, they can avoid distractions, and they won’t cause a diversion for other students. Additionally, they can talk to their friends about their taste in music, and it might help in socializing more.
Benefits in Socialising
Apart from the socializing perks through music choice, as depicted above, cell phones are a great device for overall social learning. With the increased use of social media apps, parents are worried about their children being on social media networks all day. However, there are specific platforms that students can use for education and social learning.
Educational forums and chat groups are relevant for solving queries and interacting with classmates while doing homework. There are plenty of groups and communities that let students share questions, answers, research, and more via Facebook, other messaging apps, and similar platforms.
Here’s how students can relate to others and they can solve problems in real-time, even when they’re in school.
Brings a Balance between Life Skills and Learning
Today’s students will become responsible citizens in the future. Hence, they have to find a work-life balance, and it should start now. Using cell phones all the time might not bring any downtime. Instead, it might help them understand the discipline they should acquire to balance life and work.
They can learn better with the monitored use of cell phones. As a result, they can grow up in an improved way. The skills will tell them how to manage their screen time and restrict them from spending too much time online.
Cons of Allowing Phones in Schools
Using cell phones in school is not appreciated all the time. It’s better to check out cell phones in school pros and cons before concluding.
Let’s have a look at the disadvantages of cell phones that students can suffer from if they bring them to school.
Harms Physical Health
The blue light of cell phones has been in the headlines for exerting strain on the eyes if exposed for long hours. Students who are hyperactive with their cell phones can be a victim of the blue light that phones emit.
A night shift setting might elevate the situation, but it might still pose a threat of behavioral disorder. Under this circumstance, the student might suffer from a lack of concentration or focus, especially while using the cell phone during a class. Moreover, the screen time should not exceed more than 10 hours in total for any student.
Encourages Cheating and Inappropriate Learning
The urge to use Google or similar search engines might lure students every time they face a challenge. They might skip studying and sneak cell phones to examination centers to get answers through Google or other means. Hence, they might get engaged in risky and unfair practices that will bring them no good results.
Cheating is not the appropriate way of learning, and this might affect the student’s academics. Additionally, this will be an injustice to those who have really prepared themselves for exams and followed the rules.
Acts as a Pivotal Distraction
Undoubtedly, cell phones are portals to unlimited entertainment and time-passing activities. They might act as a distraction to the learning environment of the school.
For example, students can concentrate on what’s being discussed in the classroom if they keep texting, watching newsfeeds, sharing memes, peeking into YouTube, or playing games.
In short, cell phones invite never-ending opportunities to create a diversion for students. This might disrupt other students from concentrating in the classroom when educators catch the guilty student, and it interrupts the flow.
Paves the way for Cyberbullying
With access to cell phones in school, anyone can click pictures and upload them to social media platforms for roasting purposes. According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, almost 50% of teens experience cyberbullying at least once in their lifetime.
This is a safety concern and the consequences can be quite unexpected. Name-calling, embarrassing photos, nasty messages, body-shaming, and anything can happen with uninterrupted access to cell phones in school. That’s why parents and educators prefer to keep cell phones away from schools.
Should Cell Phones be Allowed in Schools?
Most parents and educators conclude that cell phones are highly addictive. Moreover, they can cause lots of distractions owing to social apps, texting, games, and more. Additionally, there are fears of cheating, cyberbullying, and overall mental health.
However, we can’t ignore the relevance of smartphones in today’s digital age. Cell phones are the most convenient ways to communicate, and students can learn a lot through video tutorials, unlimited internet access, and educational apps.
That’s why everyone should keep cell phones in school pros and cons in their mind and convey them to students. Also, students can gain awareness about a lot of consequences and be more responsible regarding their cell phone use.