by Patrick Silvia
The rise of cell phone popularity and power has introduced a serious debate in education, and in particular NAHS. The official policy is that cell phones are allowed during passing period, break, and lunch time only. Any other use is up to teacher discretion, but many teachers at North do not allow cell phone usage at all. This is in spite of the fact that many students have smartphones, which have many programs and functions that could make the education process more interactive and meaningful. Cell Phones should be allowed in school because of the benefits it provides for research, as well as allowing students to communicate important information to classmates and family members.
The benefit of using phones in the classroom is that phones are convenient and quick research devices. Senior Bryan Harris said, “I was not allowed to use my cell phone in class even when I was trying to research the topic we were learning about.” Being able to research on cell phones provides help for struggling students immediately. This saves both students and teachers time, and provides students the ability to problem solve instead of having to rely on their busy teachers.
Using cell phones for communication is also important to students because while in school students might need to know things from people outside of school, like a parent, guardian or a close relative. Sophomore Dylan Kane said, “Some days when I try to contact my parents, I can’t. If my teachers let me use my phone it would make life a lot easier.” There could be a family situation that could affect a student’s life and they might not be able to know what’s going on if a teacher doesn’t let students use their cell phones. This leave some students in the dark when it comes to important information.
Finally, cell phones allow students who are unable to be in the same location to still work together. This is important for group assignments in order to communicate who is responsible for what, or to provide clarification on due dates. Because of this, students should be able to use cell phones during SLPs in order to stay productive.
The cell phone is one of our generations best inventions and is under-utilized in our school system today. Instead of using its communication function and ability to research to enhance a student’s knowledge on a subject, our school system shuns them and makes them seem like devices that inhibit our ability to learn.