Cell phone use in the classroom

Joshua Flickenger, Photo Editor

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Cell phone use in the classroom has increased over the years, along with other new pieces of technology.  Cell phones are bad for the learning environment when they are not used in an educational manner. They distract students, make teachers’ jobs harder and they allow students to cheat on tests and quizzes.

I have had classes where students are so focused on their phone that when the teacher tried to get their attention, they had no clue of what is going on in the lesson because they were distracted by their phone.  Social media plays a big role in distracting students. But if you think about it, students are distracting each other in using social media during class, such as Snapchat. I would rather have students stay off their phones because it takes away class time from other students who are trying to pay attention.

Teachers’ jobs are becoming harder and harder with the new kinds of technology.  For example, some students wear smartwatches, which notify the student when there is a new message or post.  The student then goes to check that message or post, distracting them and others from the classroom activities.  Students don’t even need their phones in hand for it to become a distraction. A teacher’s job is to give students an education, not to keep worrying about keeping students off their phones.

Being able to make a Google search on our phones in just a few seconds allows opportunities for cheating when taking a test or quiz.  I’ve observed students holding their phone under the desk so that it can’t be seen by the teacher. It’s not fair to those students who have studied hard for their grade, than those who didn’t.  Then you have to decide if you want to let the teacher know about it, or just let them continue to cheat.

Some teachers have strict rules about phones in their classes, while others hope that your phone is put away during a test.  Those teachers’ that make sure your phone is away are setting you up for success. For example, if you don’t do so great on a test that you took using your memory, then you now know that you should study differently or harder.

Cell phones can be a great resource in a classroom environment, when they are used for class work.  They can also be used for research and writing papers and even communicating with students for collaborative projects.  You can also easily get ahold of teachers using your phone. But when they are used for cheating or just as a distraction, they should not be allowed in the learning environment.  But I feel the negatives of phones outweighs the positives in the classroom.