The first cellphone call was made in 1974 by an engineer that worked for Motorola and ever since that occurrence the mobile phone has altered the way people communicate and go about their day-to-day activities. Over 5 billion people own a mobile phone on Earth as of 2017 meaning that over 2/3 of the human population uses a phone on a regular basis to communicate with their associates. Even with the majority of people owning mobile phones, schools across the world are continuously trying to ban the usage of these devices on their campuses. In many cities across America such as New York City, New York, bans have been previously put in place to halt the usage of phones on school grounds. These bans are unnecessary and can negatively impact a student’s learning experience along with their mental well-being. Cell phones should be allowed in the classroom because they allow students to have increased communication with parents, faster access to information, and a better attitude when it comes to school.
One of parent’s biggest concerns when it comes to their child Is their safety, when their child is at school they hope that their child is in a safe environment, but this is not always the case. School shootings, stabbings, and threats are becoming common occurrences across the United States in the past few decades. The number of school shootings in the United States since Columbine is a staggering 270 shootings. Children who possess a cellphone could call their parents or local authorities if there is an emergency situation occurring at school leading to a faster resolution. If the students are deprived of their phones, due to a ban, their safety is also being deprived which is not looked on positively by parents. Cellphones also increase student’s safety when they are capable of being tracked via GPS from their parents phone. A parent can track when their student arrives at school and arrives home every day in order to ensure that their child is always in the right place at the right time. The tracking system could also be used to find a student that evacuated from school during an emergency leading to less hassle for the students, parents, and school.
Overall, the usage of cellphones in and around school’s is vital to a student’s safety and banning these tools would lead to a less connected and more at danger group of children. A mobile phone is one of the fastest and most reliable sources to gain information from which means that it is a perfect tool for the classroom. Many schools have integrated mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones into lessons plans to allow for a more dynamic learning experience. Miami-Dade County is a county in Florida that has input BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies that allow students to expand their learning from their own personal electronics. (Rich, Taylor, 2014) The usage of the smartphone makes the students more likely to be interested in the assignments because they are already interested in their smartphones causing them to make a positive correlation between the lesson and their phone.
Advocates of a ban on cellphones state there is no valid use for cellphones in school due to the school providing technology for the students already. While the large majority of schools have computers and laptops provided to students the wireless connection at most institutions is not strong enough for the number of users it needs to work for. As of 2013 only 39% of schools were said to be equipped with adequate wireless connection which reinforces the need for personal cellphone data usage at school. When students have a cellphone at school they can complete basic assignments in the classroom where technology would normally be limited or even non-existent. In conclusion, personal cellphones provide students with learning tools that would not be possessable in lower funded schools, allowing for a school to grow.
School is not intriguing to every student, but it is still a necessary evil that every child must endure to prepare themselves for the real-world. Many students have a negative outlook on school and the removal of cellphones would cause the students to be less likely to want to show up due to cellphones being considered an addiction. Ron Gorsky, a former principal of a New York school affected by the cellphone ban, stated that “trying to enforce the ban caused more conflict than having phones openly in schools would.” The process of trying to eliminate mobile device usage in schools is insanely extensive and most the time not possible because there will always be rule breakers. Allowing students to make their own decisions as to when it is the right time to use their phones would lead to a more responsible adult being formed rather than one that is always being told what to do.
Although naysayers state that students will use their phones for inappropriate uses such as social media and cyberbullying this possibility can be strongly curbed by teachers monitoring their students cellphone usage during lessons in order to ensure they are on task. A study of 1000 middle school students performed by Verizon showed that students who use cellphones in school are more likely to feel smart, be happy, and have the drive to pursue STEM subjects. The large sample size of this study reinforces the need for mobile devices in school because it leads to kids being interested in school which is not an easy task. In conclusion, the usage of cellphones leads to students becoming immersed in their learning and without them schools would slowly lose students and interest in school topics in general.
Schools are places where knowledge should be created, shared, and learned, the usage of cellphones could assist the learning process greatly. Banning cellphones in schools would lead to students interested in school to lose interest and students not interested in school to dropout. When used correctly a cellphone can be the most important thing for a student to have at school even if it’s just used as a tool to keep track of due dates. If cellphones were not allowed in schools students safety would be put in jeopardy, their learning process could be hindered or even stopped, and their attitude towards school would change negatively. In retrospect, cellphones in the classroom are not only a necessary tool but they are also a key to opening new doors of information and knowledge not yet discovered.
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