Cellphone Usage in Class

Cellphone Usage in Class

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JM Abelado started this petition to school organizations and

Students check their phones in the classroom an average of more than 11 times a day. That can add up to a lot of time spent distracted from schoolwork. And when students are distracted, it’s a recipe for extra stress, frustration, and catch-up time for everyone.

With students spending up to 20% of their in-class time texting, emailing, and checking social media, it’s no wonder the debate about cell phones in the classroom is alive and well.

Many teachers and parents are left wondering: can cell phones ever really benefit students in class, or are they best left tucked away?

In today's technological world, cellular phones have become an integral part of day-to-day life. People of all ages rely on them for both communication and entertainment. However, some people disagree on whether cellphones are appropriate for certain places, such as the classroom. It's important for parents, teachers and students to understand the detrimental effects of cellphones in schools.
Consider cellphones' impact in the classroom.

Kids are always under pressure to do well in school. As a result, the occasional student may cheat on a test. Mobile phones are capable of more than just calling and texting. Students can easily gain Internet access through their phones during an exam. Additionally, they can listen to recorded information. This is facilitated by "exam cheat equipment" such as inconspicuous ear pieces, that students can purchase online.

Before cellphones, bullying was limited to physical or verbal abuse. Now, mobile phones can take pictures and videos, creating a trend called "cyber-bullying." Students have used their phones to embarrass their peers or teachers. For example, students may record school fights and post them online. Teachers are not immune to the bullying. Kids might record their teacher losing his temper, then post it on sites such as YouTube. Common sense would dictate that these acts can be humiliating to the victims and harmful to the school's reputation.

Texting in class has become a serious concern for educators. Dr. Patricia Fioriello, moderator of the High School Mediator website, warns that students can't focus on the lesson if they are busy sending messages on their phones. She also explains that this behavior negatively impacts the class environment. It distracts teachers and students who are trying to concentrate on the lesson. If a student is focused on texting, he is unable to absorb the information being demonstrated.

Unlike texting, which is a nuisance, "sexting" involves sending sexually provocative pictures or messages. It is no secret that teenagers are powder kegs of raging hormones, constantly learning about their sexuality. However, these self-taught lessons come at a price. While sexting between two people can seem harmless, there is no guarantee that the recipient will keep them private. Once a photo is sent, it can be forwarded to any number of people or uploaded online. The ensuing backlash can result in ridicule, bullying and even suicide. "Psychology Today" cites the cases of Jessica Logan and Hope Whitsell, who both killed themselves after suggestive pictures of them were circulated around the school. Logan graduated, but committed suicide soon after. Whitsell was suspended for the picture, but she could not face the constant harassment that she endured at school.

The use of cellphones inside the classroom should be kept supervised so that the students will not get too distracted from their lessons and activities.

The first step is to create a school-wide policy that bans cell phones from even being pulled out in class, whether from a backpack, purse, or pocket.

Merely banning their use doesn’t go far enough and will only lead to arguing and battling with students over what, exactly, this means. The policy must be clear-cut, easy to define, and easy to determine whether it’s been broken.

Thus, if a phone is exposed to the light of day—no matter the circumstance—then the policy has been broken. In this way, it either is or isn’t. There is no gray area or possibility open to interpretation.

As for consequences, I recommend that phones be taken away without students first receiving a warning. Otherwise, they’ll use up their warning every chance they get.

An immediate consequence also sends the message that learning is sacred and anything that interferes with it is a serious offense.

But you can’t just one day begin demanding that students hand over their most cherished possession. They must first understand the policy in full. They must know why it’s in place as well as how their phone will be taken away and when and how it will be returned.

Laying the policy out clearly and completely beforehand, so there are no misunderstandings or opportunities to shift the blame elsewhere, goes a long way toward avoiding defiance, disrespect, and refusal to give up their phone when the policy is enforced.

Therefore, it’s essential to hold a school-wide assembly explaining your policy in detail.

Although the disadvantages of cellphones in schools are quite apparent, the decision to regulate or ban them is up to each school. Some institutions prohibited mobile phones and pagers near the turn of the century. Many schools allow the devices because of external pressure from parents who claim that cellphones are important for emergency communication. National School Safety and Security Services recommends that only teachers and staff carry cellphones for use during a crisis.


Personal story
I had been in this situation where I cannot answer the questions in the quiz after the discussion because of I'm busy with my cellphone.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 25!
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