Cell Phones In The Classroom: A Help Or Hindrance?

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It’s safe to say that the average American teenager likes three things: food, friends, and their cell phones. With technology so advanced today and with new smartphones coming out every year, we see more and more people becoming attached to their phones and the lives they live through them. For some people a phone is access to their everyday needs and commitments like jobs. For others it is just a door into a society that allows them to keep up with what is happening in the now. And with so many social media apps and media outlets the world gets smaller and smaller by the day. But should this mini world be accessed in the classroom?

For Gerold Branch, a sophomore at Ogden International High School, the prospect of being able to use his cell phone in class is appalling. When asked why he thinks that teachers should allow students to use their phones in class he said, “It depends on the situation; like for instance, a project where your have limited access to the Internet [in the classroom] and the only way to access it is through your phone.” Madison Hodo, another sophomore at Ogden, agreed with Branch and stated that “In class, teens already use their cell phones, and since it is something that won’t ever stop, why not just allow it?” Hodo  brought up a very good point: Just because a group of people consistently break a rule does that mean that the rule must change? Then again isn’t that the very definition and purpose of protest?

Maria Salcido stated that cellphones should be allowed in the classroom. “While I do recognize the downside of having cellphones, they also have a positive aspect of helping you focus through music or drawing out surrounding distractions.”

A high school teacher who prefers to remain anonymous, has a different outlook on cell phone policies in the classroom. When asked why she forbids students to use their phones in class, she had this response: “A teenager’s perception of when to and when not to use a cell phone in class, from my experience, isn’t appropriate for an academic setting. This also goes from what to use it for. People in general have become addicted to their phones but as a teacher it is a harder fight for me with the younger generation being more prone to its influence through media and such; having students know when to use their phones and what to use it for makes the struggle much more real. And I believe that applies to teachers everywhere.”

Students and teachers alike have started to take advantage of using cellphones in the classroom for academic purposes. But the arguments of distraction still stand. In the end it seems up the the student using the device to choose what is more important. What will you choose?

By John Ivy, Sophomore, Ogden International

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