CELL PHONES IN THE CLASSROOM: LEARNING TOOL OR DISTRACTION

These days, more and more students are bringing cell phones to class. Even elementary school-aged students have cell phones in their pockets and backpacks.

However, the news of Ontario’s decision to ban cell phones in classrooms opens again the debate about whether or not students should have cellphones in school. It also brings up the question of whether it’s possible for technology to exist in the classroom as a learning tool—rather than simply a distraction.

ONTARIO’S CLASSROOM CELL PHONE BAN

Starting in September 2019, cell phones will be banned in Ontario classrooms during instructional time.

The new ban means elementary and secondary school students won’t be able to use their cellphones in the classroom unless it is for educational purposes, medical reasons, or as a support for students with special needs. How the ban is enforced will be up to individual boards and schools.

By banning cellphones, Ontario’s Education Ministry hopes to remove distractions so students can focus on acquiring foundational learning skills they need, including reading, writing and math.

The decision and renewed debate has many teachers and parents left wondering: can cell phones ever really benefit students in class, or are they best left tucked away?

Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of students having cell phones in school.

CELL PHONE USE IN THE CLASSROOM

Students check their phones in the classroom an average of more than 11 times a day. That can add up to a lot of time spent distracted from schoolwork. And when students are distracted, it’s a recipe for extra stress, frustration, and catch-up time for everyone.

With students spending up to 20% of their in-class time texting, emailing, and checking social media, it’s no wonder the debate about cell phones in the classroom is alive and well.

Learn more about the pros and cons of students bringing their cell phones into the classroom.

HOW CELL PHONES CAN BE USED EFFECTIVELY IN THE CLASSROOM

If properly managed, cell phones can be used as tools to help children learn in the classroom. The following are some of the pros of allowing cell phones in school:

  1. Using educational learning apps
  2. Incorporating digital platforms into lessons
  3. Supplementing lessons with digital materials
  4. Providing easy access to more information

THE DRAWBACKS OF ALLOWING CELL PHONES IN CLASSROOMS

While cell phones can be used as learning tools, it is a challenge to make sure students are using them for school-related tasks. A cell phone can easily turn from “classroom learning tool” into “classroom disruption”.

Cons of allowing cell phones in school include:

  1. Distractions and interruptions
  2. Cyberbullying
  3. Cheating
  4. Disconnection from face-to-face activities

THE BOTTOM LINE: SHOULD STUDENTS HAVE CELL PHONES IN SCHOOL?

There’s no easy answer: there are both pros and cons to students having cell phones in school. Although they can be used as a learning tool in the classroom, this only works as long as students use them effectively.

This means for teachers who decide to use cell phones (or any other digital device) as part of their lessons, it’s important to set ground rules and keep a close eye on how they are being used.

Read the full article here:https://www.oxfordlearning.com/should-cell-phones-be-allowed-classrooms/

Posted in All News, Announcer Blogs, Denyse

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