Cell phone use has become the norm for people of all ages. It is uncommon to find a teenager or adult that does not have a cell phone. Even elementary age children are carrying them around. They provide safety for kids that must walk home or ride the bus. It is common practice, however, for teachers to have kids put their cell phones away while they are in class. This helps to avoid distraction for both the students and the teachers. Cell phone use in class, therefore, is a somewhat controversial idea. There are several key factors that promote a positive experience for cell phones in the classroom.
Safety is a much larger concern in modern times. Kids need to stay in contact with parents to let them know they have arrived safely to the school and often use their phones to organize after school plans. Cells phones can also help in an emergency situation if they are readily available. In the past, parents had to call the school and wait for their child to be called to the front office to send them a message. A quick text with a cell phone does not disrupt the entire class. Communication between students can also benefit better organization for after school activities. Parents are often frustrated with the school system for not allowing them proper access to their children. Parents need to be able to communicate with their children as they see fit.
Apps and Video
There are many apps that focus on class room or group activity. Activities for group projects can be monitored on some of these. Pictures can also be saved and shared. This can make large projects much easier to work on outside of school. Video options can be used to add depth to presentations and to record speeches from class for later review. Private social media pages for the classroom can be set up for sharing ideas and accomplishments. This is a great way to keep students motivated.
Online Books and Research
Many books are available for free online. This option can help kids that may not be able to stay after for library time or are unable to make a purchase from a store. This can also encourage supplemental reading. Proper scientific journal articles are also available from many online sources, and many libraries offer online access. Research skills can be taught and enhanced in classrooms where cell phones are allowed.
Many classes still use vocabulary lists as a major teaching tool. Students with cell phones are able to look up words quickly, enabling them to finish assignments in class that would otherwise be left to do at home. This can free up time for other homework, increasing the chance of improved grades. Vocabulary is, most likely, going to be done on a computer at home anyway. Even if paper dictionaries are available for classroom use, there may not be enough for the entire class.
Scheduling and Preparation
Many kids use their cell phone to set reminders for certain events throughout their day and week. Keeping cell phones on hand can help students get organized. This can result in higher grades, as more assignments get completed and turned in. The excuse of “I forgot”, may not be an issue anymore. Students can enter assignments right into their calendar or notepad app. Alarms can also be set as reminders.
Schools have the responsibility of preparing students for the future. While books are still adequate learning tools, the future of the classroom is going to revolve around more technology. By helping students learn how to research properly and read on their phone, teachers are preparing students for future classroom experiences.
Teachers often share their frustration about students that remain on their phones throughout the class period. The important part about using cell phones for learning is to make sure that students on using them for the immediate activity and not having frivolous conversations with friends or playing games. This allows for the full benefit of cell phones in the classroom. Safety, communication, and research are all beneficial highlights of cell phones use in schools. A change in school policy could easily benefit learning and grades in many schools.