Cell Phones in Classrooms???

Good Morning everyone!

Sorry for the delayed post, but life got busy!

This post is being made so late because unfortunately I had to miss this class because I was working in the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

In this weeks class we had three debaters! Kendall was positioned that cellphones should always be banned in classrooms, Cody was debating that cell phones should always be allowed in classrooms, and Tiana argued that cell phones should only be allowed in High schools.

The poll that they took at the start of the class surprised me, as I thought more students would be in favour of allowing cell phones in classrooms.

Here is Kendall’s video, which outlines the the points she wants to make!

Kendall had us read three different articles which centred around the topics of how smart phones can reduce ones available cognitive capacity, how smart phones can be distracting and disrespectful in classrooms, and how cell phones can foster inappropriate behaviour in classrooms such as cheating, cyber-bullying, and sexting. She made a really strong case and brought some really interesting ideas that I have never though of before!

Next we heard from Cody who was on the side that cell phones should always be allowed in classrooms!

During the debate Cody explained his perspective very well. He feels that all students should have the opportunity to use their phones in class. He also explained from his experience in the classroom, he found he was able to regulate how much students were able to use them, and to have students use their phones efficiently. Cody had us read three articles which outlined a few key ideas. The first article outlines that using smart phones in classrooms can be very beneficial, if the teacher sets up guide lines and protocols for students. Next I read an article by The Star, which explains how a blanket ban on cell phones in classrooms would not be a solution. Whether or not to allow cell phones in classrooms is a complex problem, and a complete ban is not a solution. An idea that this article proposes is that students need to be taught self-control, instead of not allowing them access to their phones perhaps it would be better to allow them to self regulate and learn self control. Finally we read an article which showed us a study that allowing cell phones in class is more effective then banning them. Students can be extremely relentless when they want to be, so by banning cell phones this will only make students want to be on their phones more, regardless of the rules. As well this study shows that if students are allowed cellphones in the classrooms, teachers can educate students on how to be respectful online.

Finally we had Tiana debating the side of that cell phones should only be allowed in high schools.

Tiana’s reasons for which she feels phones should only be allowed in high schools because cell phones have the capability of causing health issues in youth, and due to the increase of cyberbullying online has caused major mental health issues. By eleminating cell phones in elementary schools, we are now reducing the amount that students are exposed to this type of behaviour. One of the articles we read explained the importance of having high school students use cell phones, is to develop the proper internet skills, which will help them in going into life outside of school. As well it argued that work places often do it no ban cell phones (often they provide a cell phone for workers), so this is an important skill for students to develop.

So, where do I stand with this? Just like almost every other debate, I am positioned in the middle of the road. I think banning cell phones in the classroom is frankly not an option, but students should not have absolute freedom of using their phones whenever they please. There should be a strict set of guidelines of when students are allowed to use their phones, and I think it is also the teachers responsibility to teach students how to be respectful online. I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers, it just depends on how the rules are implemented in the classrooms.

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