The Question Of Whether Cell Phones Should Be Banned In Schools

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Cellphones are a part of technological advancements that have revolutionized different spheres of life, such as communication, text, lifestyle, among others. Because of the popularity of smartphone technology, cellphones have found their way into schools. The choice of whether students should have phones in class depends on a country’s educational policies as well as individual school rules. For example, in Sweden, it is guided by the school curriculum (Ott 31). Incorporating or not incorporating phones in the classroom is aimed at improving the quality of teaching. To get the best of learning, cell phones should be banned from classes due to their adverse effects.

First, cell phones cause distraction in classes. Students hide cell phones in their backpack or clothing pockets and retrieve them during class sessions. In the classroom, a student’s attention should be entirely focused on the teacher’s instructional activities. However, with the presence of cell phones, their attention is divided between what is being taught by the teacher and the events in their devices. Barney McCoy, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, notes, “during the typical four years they’re in college classrooms, the average student may be distracted for two-thirds of a school year ” (Reed para. 3). Students get engaged in activities such as browsing, texting, gaming, among others, which reduces their academic achievement. A study conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln showed that learners check on their cell phones at an average of eleven times in a day (Reed para. 1). The spend time amounted to twenty percent of their classwork (Reed para.2). Besides, the ringing of a cell phone, playing video, or music shifts the attention of the instructor and that of the whole class hence distracting the standard way of learning. Consequently, it leads to time wastage. Therefore, cell phones distract teachers and students, thus affecting the learners' quality of education.

Secondly, allowing cell phones in classrooms encourages cheating. The current society has placed a lot of stress in academic achievement hence pressurizing students into cheating. Cheating thus becomes a shortcut to success as the less effort involved exceeds the risk of being caught. Cell phones aid students in academic fraud in several ways. Texting is one of the easy means by which students can share answers in an examination, aking to the traditional note passing. Learners place smartphones in secure areas withing their vicinity and text answers amongst themselves. Furthermore, smartphones have notes storing capability such as pdf formats of lecture notes where students can refer to during assessments. Also, cell phones aid students in cheating through homework sharing applications. For example, Photomath provides a platform where students can post photographs of a math problem and get it solved on their behalf. The students end up scoring marks for the content they did not comprehend.

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Additionally, cell phones encourage cyberbullying in classes. Students use social media and text messages in cyberbullying, teachers, and colleagues. For instance, learners can use their smartphone cameras in capturing teachers’ acts, which they deem funny. They then post the images on social media, thus exposing the teacher to ridicule and embarrassment. Also, students use text messages to insult other class members. The insults affect the victims mentally, causing depression and loss of self-esteem (Myers, and Cowie 4). Some of the individuals who are targeted by cyberbullying in class are the minority groups such as the LGBT community or students with autism. Thus, cellphones advance cyberbullying in schools, affecting the mental health of students and embarrassing teachers.

Despite the challenges caused by cellphones in classes, cellphones also aid content delivery during instructional time. Cell phones aid students in in-class researching. Smartphones have web browsers such as Opera Mini and Google Chrome, which are used to surf the internet in search of educational materials. For example, students can access the American Yawp, a website that conglomerates information on the history of the US, during history classes. Students hence find content which could not be located in their lecture notes, therefore, enriching the class session contentwise.

Moreover, cellphones enable teachers to improve content delivery by using visual aids. Visual aids allow the integration of different teaching methodologies, which increases the interest of students in the content being taught. Some of the visual learning aids are videos and images. Instructors can direct students to a particular video available in YouTube or podcast channels. The employment of visual aids during class sessions enhances students’ comprehension through increased participation. Hence, cell phones improve content delivery in classes.

However, students are carried away by the distracting content available in the internet when using smartphones for research during instructional time. For example, leaners view entertainment content such as music, which deviates them from the study being conducted. Besides, learners can utilize the instance of employing visual aids to do unnecessary tasks such as messaging each other, which makes the visual aids session of less effective

In conclusion, cellphones cause adverse effects when incorporated in classrooms. They encourage cheating hence promoting academic fraud. Additionally, cell phones cause distraction in classes. Besides, they advance cyberbullying. However, cellphones aid in research and incorporate visual aids. Despite the benefits, cellphones should be banned in classes since they affect the quality of instructions and affect the mental health of the learners and teachers. 

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