Tech Academic: Cell Phone Use in Schools
Increasing numbers of high school-age students own cell phones. Whether or not students should be allowed to carry cell phones in schools is the subject of much debate, with both sides on the issue offering relevant points. It's something that every school must consider when developing rules and initiatives on technology use.
Arguments for allowing cell phones in schools:
Bring your own technology initiative: Some schools are considering allowing kids to use the cell phones or tablets that they already own to do schoolwork, including research. The idea is that the school will then provide the technology to students who don't already possess it. That way, the school doesn't have to pay to furnish every student with a device, just those who don't already bring it with them. This would be implemented to help schools keep up in an increasingly technological world, while staying on a budget.
Prohibition Doesn't WorkYoung people as a demographic are very attached to their cell phones, and consequently are prone to breaking whatever rules are made prohibiting cell phone use. Some may argue that allowing them in school will help alleviate some of the time and energy that teachers and authority figures spend on enforcing disciplinary measures related to cell phone use in school.
The "Keeping Up With Technology" argument: There's also an argument for cell phone use in school stating that technology is an ever-growing snowball that the educators downhill from it can't simply avoid. There used to exist a time when calculators were not allowed in match classes because they were thought to impede the learning process. Similarly, according to this argument, cell phones should be thought of as a learning device of the future - one that will inevitably be used universally at some point.
Arguments against allowing cell phones in schools:
They're distracting: There may not be any feasible way to prevent raging hormones and idle daydreaming from distracting from the learning process, but educators can put a stop to the distraction of cell phone use by enforcing a ban on the devices. If cell phones are allowed in schools, students will be more tempted to text, instagram or check facebook while they're supposed to be paying attention during class.
They encourage cheating: Cell phone technology could make it much easier for students to cheat on tests. It's as easy as snapping a picture of test questions with a cell phone's camera and sending it to peers. Recently, Stuyvesant High School in New York experienced a cheating scandal when a student allegedly used his cell phone to share test answers with over 50 students.
They contribute to social stratification: Allowing cell phones in school could help divide students along the social lines of the "haves" versus the "have-nots." Some parents will not be able to furnish their child with the latest technology, and as a result that child could quickly lapse to the bottom of the social ladder.
Regardless of what side of the debate you fall on, it's an interesting one!