Smartphones in Schools

While no one can deny the huge impact that smart technology has had on the youth of today, from learning and communication to fun and games, it still begs the question ā€“ should this technology be allowed in the classroom?

While these handheld devices can be extremely useful in the gathering of information via text or photos, for calculations, and in keeping up on classroom assignments and communicating with one’s teacher, this built-in functionality can also be used for other purposes which may not be so benign.

For instance, take the bullying phenomenon which is making so many tragic headlines today. According to a recent survey, 41% of students report that they have been “threatened” via their smartphone. This is a shocking statistic.

Smart technology is also being used to post inappropriate information about teachers and students, spread lies and rumors, and otherwise tear people down with the push of a button. It seems that bullying has now entered a new and highly destructive era with the use of technology.

Even more obvious is the fact that smartphones can easily be used to assist students in cheating on tests, and are a real source of distraction in the classroom.

It is my feeling that teachers and students should NOT have to deal with the negative consequences of smart phones in the classroom. While a total ban on smart phones at school may not be realistic or even desirable, at the very least, every student that uses a smart phone at school should be subject to an “acceptable use” policy which takes into account the potential abuses of smart phones by children.

And if and when a student violates any aspect of the “acceptable use” policy, that student should not be allowed to use their smart phone at school again.

As with any technology, it is neither good or bad, but how we use it that counts.

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