Cell Phone Usage during School Hours
Most people argue against cell phone usage during school hours. They state that cell phones are devices that not only disrupt lessons all the time but also make many children relax and not ready for tests because there will be a possibility to use the Internet and find answers. Nevertheless, bringing cell phones to classes has a significant number of advantages. Thus, cell phones should not be banned in schools.
First of all, banning cell phone usage at school makes it difficult for parents to communicate with their child if there is something urgent. For example, one of the relatives may have an accident. There may be a situation when a close relative is dying and would like to say goodbye. In this case, a child may want to be present at the hospital and say the last words to the relative. Some people may argue that a parent may call to school and ask someone to deliver an important message to the child. However, the staff of the school may have many other things to do, and there may be a lunch time or recess, so it will be difficult to find the child. Furthermore, some messages are not for third persons. Moreover, it is necessary not to forget about the time after school. The child may decide to go for a walk with friends or go to a cafe, not to mention that something bad may happen. In this case, parents will have no idea how to find their child and ask them whether everything is fine or not.
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Nowadays cell phones can aid in learning since “PBS and the International Society for Technology in Education have a number of content-related cell phone apps” (Raths, 2012). Thus, if a student has a smartphone, they may use one of the programs that are similar to those for computers or laptops. The possibility to use the phone as a learning tool is crucial not only for students but also for teachers. Teachers can design special tasks connected with cell phones. For instance, a teacher may ask their students to call each other and talk in a foreign language. Such practice is very valuable because talking on the phone is definitely not the same as talking in person since it is harder for a person to understand a foreign language on the phone. It is clear that if a teacher asks students to do this task at home, then nobody will do it, while in the classroom, the teacher can control the fulfillment of the task.
Nowadays most cell phones are equipped with a camera. It may be very helpful in studying. It provides a child with the opportunity to take a picture of the things which either excite them or may be useful for fulfilling a home task. For example, children may take photos of the process of creating something step-by-step to be able to repeat it in the future. Moreover, almost all cell phones contain a calendar. A calendar may appear to be useful for children who have difficulty in remembering some important dates and events, for example, tests and deadlines of assignments. For instance, a child listens to the teacher’s task and sets an alarm in a cell phone instead of writing the due date in a notebook. Consequently, it is more probable that a child will not forget to do it in time. Furthermore, setting an alarm, as well as writing something down, will take less than a minute, so the child will not be distracted.
Those who argue that cell phones can distract a child are right in a way. However, if the child is not in the mood to listen attentively, even a blue sky outside can distract them from the events in the classroom. Undoubtedly, if a cell phone starts ringing, it will draw attention of all children and may knock the teacher off his or her topic. It is true that several ringing phones during the class are extremely annoying. It is not right to blame cell phones because “Mobile phones can be very discreet if turned off or on to silent” (Austin, 2012). Sometimes, children are not attentive enough to switch the sound off every time. Thus, the teacher can solve this problem by asking all children at the beginning of the class to do it.
It is clear that children may use their cell phones to cheat since they can either search for something on the web or use a calculator. In fact, it is one of the greatest disadvantages of allowing cell phone usage during school hours. It is natural that it is rather difficult for a teacher to watch what all children do. Nevertheless, banning cell phone usage is not a good idea: “The kids taught us a lesson: they are still going to bring their phones anyway, so let us allow them to use them in a constructive way” (Higgins, 2013). Banning cell phones fails to solve the problem of cheating. On the contrary, it will only make children find other ways to cheat.
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To conclude, it is doubtful that cell phones should be banned because there are more pros than cons of using them in schools. It is more convenient and calm for parents to know that they are able to reach their children all the time. Moreover, teachers tend to use cell phones as the part of tasks during lessons. Nowadays smartphones have so many valuable functions that allowing them in schools is more beneficial than detrimental.