Question: Our school lets students have cellphones. My instincts tell me they interfere with learning. Am I right? -- Concerned
Answer: This definitely is a hot topic being debated by educators. There are definite cons that are easy to see:
- -No. 1: At schools where students have phones, test scores are improved when the phones are banned.
- -Phones are a distraction in the classroom with messages, notifications and tweets coming through.
- -They widen the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students.
- -Phones require additional policing and enforcing rules about when and where they can or can't be used.
- -Students may be viewing inappropriate materials.
- -Phones may let teachers integrate technology into the curriculum.
- -They can be used as a calculator in math classes.
- -Parents can be in touch with their children.
- -Cellphones can open the technology door for classrooms that have no technology.
- -Phones are helpful in case of emergencies.
- -They are a learning aid, helping students quickly look up facts.
- -Phones can serve as memory aids letting students use the camera to take pictures of assignments on the board or other information.
- -Features such as calendars and voice notes and access to video can be helpful classroom aids.