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5 Reasons Smartphones Should Be Allowed in Classrooms

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: January 12, 2013 | Categories: Education, Guest Posts, iPhone, Technology

Guest Post

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As technology changes, adults are having to adapt to the way the world works now as opposed to how it did 10-15 years ago. For teachers and educators, technology has had incredible benefits recently, but there are also some negatives to the advancement in technology. Now that so many younger children are carrying cellphones around with them, the question of whether or not cellphones should be allowed in classrooms has become a hot topic. Here are five reasons why smartphones should be allowed in classrooms.

Preparation

Being in the class room for so many years when you’re younger is to give you the knowledge and skills you need for when you’re in the real world. In an effort to prepare children for what life is going to be like once they’re out on their own, allowing them to embrace technology for all it’s worth is important. Almost every job out there requires having a cellphone or at least understanding how to use one nowadays.

For example, mechanics order their parts over the phone, engineers view blueprints and grocers even check inventory from their smartphones. By the time students now are entering the professional world, they need to understand how to utilize mobile technology and by keeping children from using their phones in school, it will only limit them.

Budget cuts

It’s no secret that our school systems are facing difficulties with tightening budgets. Unfortunately as we see budgets decrease, the cost of operating schools with the latest technology is increasing. Wouldn’t it make sense in this case to use technology that is readily available to them?

21st Century skills

Learning today is a lot different than learning 10 years ago. In order for kids now to learn to collaborate, using a phone is your best tool. Kids need to learn today more than ever before how to work together and by forcing them to work together to find solutions to problems should be something that is encouraged by educators, rather than labeling that as “cheating”. When it comes down to it, kids in school will always find ways to communicate with eachother, whether it’s whispering during class, passing notes or texting. This is something that will never change, and we shouldn’t be focused on.

Double standards are not fair

Even though teachers are adults and students are children, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the teacher should be allowed to play with their smartphone during work hours while the children aren’t allowed to have theirs out. Teachers should be leading by example, therefore if they wish for their students not to have their phones in their classrooms, they shouldn’t either.

Technology responsibility

If there’s no one to teach kids how to be responsible with their smartphones, they’ll never learn the proper ways to use them. The approach to keep them “safe” by not exposing them to certain technologies can actually fall as irresponsible on our part. The younger generations today need to be able to fully embrace technology for it’s benefits rather than sneaking around trying to use them. If we accept technology with open arms, it won’t only help our children grow to be smarter and more advanced, but it will also help us as a society later on.

Jennifer Jackson is a freelance writer focusing on cyber security. With two kids of her own, she’s learned the importance of having reliable security software on her and her children’s cellphones, which is why she uses NQ Mobile security at nq.com.

37 Responses to 5 Reasons Smartphones Should Be Allowed in Classrooms

  1. Loretta Hurt says:

    I so agree we need to depend on our kids to make right choices…..

  2. HilLesha says:

    I can easily understand why they’re not allowed since a lot of students would take advantage of this by texting, thus that can cause a major distraction when it comes to listening to their teacher or studying.

  3. Stefani says:

    My kid’s teachers have let them use their phones during class when doing research. I could see where kids would take advantage of the privilege and use it for something else.

  4. The kids at my daughter’s school are allowed to bring kindles, but now none of the books they need to buy are available on kindle!

  5. Billie says:

    I think it’s important to teach technology safety to everyone. I hope kids aren’t using their phones to cheat though.

  6. Courtney says:

    I think technology needs to slow down – I don’t think this is a good idea.. I am worried about how much radiation our children are exposed to with all these gadgets.

  7. Kathleen says:

    While I can see some benefits, I am not sure smartphones in the classroom are the way to go. A tablet with controls put on it during those hours, possibly.

  8. Ashley N. says:

    I believe smartphones shouldn’t be in the classrooms at all!

  9. Hmmm, not sure I feel like school is the right place for smartphones.

  10. I can see your point but I don’t feel phones in the classroom are the way to address this problem.

  11. Theresa says:

    I don’t think this is a good idea.

  12. Mellisa says:

    Luckily my kids are not old enough for this too be an issue but I can see it much more of an issue when they are old enough. As of right now I think a smart phone would be too distracting.

  13. Dorothy Boucher says:

    students often take advantage of most things that are given to them, like they would the use of a smart phone in a class room, but as for teachers using them , NO i don’t think so.. they are there to teach and the student is there to learn.. but if they are going to allow notebooks and laptops then i really see no problem with letting them have the phone in a class room 😉 great review and thanks for sharing 🙂
    need follower please @tisonlyme143

  14. Colleen says:

    I had never really thought of it I was just shocked to find out the kids could bring and listen to iPods but then it that would be a smartphone just without the phone.

  15. Sheri says:

    Having worked in a classroom, I completely disagree. Of course, there is no double standard here…the teachers and support staff can’t have them either.

  16. krystel says:

    cool smart phones are awsome

  17. Jennifer says:

    I really don’t think this is a good idea.

  18. I’m not a fan of this idea.

  19. I say no to smartphones in the classroom because we made it in school without all of the new technology we have today!! GIMME A BREAK!!

  20. interesting opinion Thank u for sharing ur point of view.I personally do think children even need smart phones.

  21. Alison says:

    My husband as a teacher shouldn’t have to tell kids to stop playing on their phones when he is trying to teach. There is a no phone out policy at their school. It’s not fair that it takes away class time from kids that want to learn, because he has to take phones away, reprimand and more. Also he doesn’t play on his phone at school, he’s working.

    Also not all students, or families of those students, can afford smart phones. So that will be the responsibility of the school district to get them, am I correct? With smaller budgets I don’t see that happening. Unless it was just WiFi, but some huge schools would need to bulk up on their routers and modems then.

  22. Don says:

    I believe students should have smart phones only for emergency uses, & be kept in there pockets or bags while in school

  23. tony greene says:

    This is definitely a bad idea. Especially since they are a huge distraction.

  24. As heavy as those books are they should be on computers and phones.

  25. I have mixed feelings about this

  26. None of the kids would be paying attention. It is hard enough to keep them focused.

  27. Maritza Robinson says:

    I think most kids will take advantage and use phones for other uses than what they are suppose to do. But then those that will use it for school purposes loose out on the opportunity. It’s a win loose situation.

  28. Kristina says:

    I use them even if they arent allowed, they are very helpful !

  29. precious mae says:

    We survived before without smartphones. So I think that won’t be a problem with kids today. They should learn stuff in the hard way.

  30. So with you on the double standards!

  31. Toni says:

    I don’t think the classroom is a place for them to be out, as mentioned above I think kids would take advantage and text when they should be learning. If a teacher is doing that or playing then that is wrong too.

  32. I don’t agree. Teachers may need to check their smart phones to check up on appts, their children, adult things, where as children have no business checking email and texts, especially during school hours. Since when do we have a “If adults can do it, kids can too, so lead by example” thing? Children have no respect for authority today and this is part of the reason. They are NOT entitled to do everything adults can do.

    • Penelope, I agree 100% with you. I remember my Mom telling me that she was the adult and that one day I’d be an adult and earn the right to do whatever it was I was complaining about. I tell my son the same thing, now. 🙂

  33. Lina says:

    Donna, having worked with kids in classrooms, I can tell you that kids have issues paying attention, keeping their minds focused on the task at hand, and following through to completion. With this said, allowing cell phones in the classroom would really complicate matters for the kids and others around them. Despite rules, regulations and consequences, kids being kids love to go against the establishment. Therefore, we would see kids sharing improper pics with friends, logging into sites that are not appropriate or monitored, calling eachother to coordinate restroom breaks, skip times or…, taking pictures of one another without parent’s consent, and more importantly, using precious learning time to play with their cell phone. After all is said and done, kids will be kids and so cell phones have no place in school classrooms.

    • Lina, I agree 100% with you. I didn’t write this article, it is a guest post. It is the author of the article’s opinion, not mine. I don’t think cell phones have a place during school hours.

  34. Lina says:

    Donna, I would like to address the issue regarding teachers with cell phones in the classroom.

    It seems kids love to compare themselves to adults, however, they are not adults. Adults being adults should follow the guidelines set by the district and not by the kids. There is no comparison, and while it may seem like a double standard, it really isn’t.

    In addition, teachers having the responsibility of the entire classroom of kids, need to have easy access to a telephone or cell phone that they may use in an emergency situation or… Also, with the limited time they have for anything personal, they really need to have easy access to a cell phone to arrange things for their own families such as doctor and dentist appointments. Teachers being teachers generally have a packed agenda from about 6:30 a.m. to about 6:00 p.m. By the time they get home, offices are closed, doctors and dentists have all gone home they hardly have a chance for their own families. Therefore, I vote for cell phones for teachers any day.

  35. Lina says:

    Re: Tightening Budgets

    Donna, schools don’t need another cent. They need to be more resourceful with what they have. Do you realize that districts throw out brand new books every year. Thousands upon thousands of books simply tossed out. That’s wrong.

    Also, other supplies such as Math and Science equipment sit in school libraries and teachers sometimes don’t even realize it. I’d say that’s a communication problem not a money problem.

    In addition, when schools finally do get their thousands in cash, they don’t use it all for the kids. They purchase unneeded teacher supplies like more book shelves, more tables, a newer this or that, throwing perfectly good supplies out the door.

    More money for schools just means more waste.

    Do you know that every year students are required to bring supplies to school and those supplies in many cases are not even used up. They are stockpiled in teacher’s cabinets for the next year and still supplies are once again required from kids. It’s a travesty. I know what parents go through to purchase these supplies. Personally, if anything, the supplies should remain in one school store and teachers should have access to them by signing them out or purchasing them with a school monetary system. In this way, teachers would share the materials rather than hoard them in their classrooms and parents wouldn’t have to continue spending more money for supplies year after year.

    The best learning isn’t expensive, it’s ingenious.

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