Pros and Cons of Cell Phones in Classrooms

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.

The pros:

  • -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.