Cell phone use in school; fighting a losing battle

Posted on October 6, 2011

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           Today’s cell phones are not solely used for texting and making phone calls.  “Four of five teenagers have cell phones and 51% of these teens use their cell phones to get important information,” according to the Center for Digital Democracy on Vicki A. Davis’ blog.  In today’s world, technology plays a huge role in our everyday lives.  Cell phones are just one of the many ways today’s generation of teens keep up with society.
           Cell phone use is not allowed at Croatan, which is the policy at most schools everywhere, and cell phones are even banned from coming into the schools in New York, according to CBS news.  This has been accepted as the norm since teenagers and young people started using cell phones due to the simple fact of distractions and the more severe cheating.  “Thirty-five percent of students admitted to cheating via cell phones,” according to the website Teach42.  But is this the right way to deal with the situation?
            What do you do when you catch a little kid running with scissors?  You stop them and discipline them as necessary; we do not get rid of all the scissors.  This scenario is similar to the cell phone one.  
            Cell phones can solve more problems than they can make.  With the capability of browsing the web and so much more, today’s cell phones can do pretty much everything a computer can do.  
            “Do you have enough computers for 80% of your students to use at one time?” says Vicki A. Davis on Blogger.  Croatan has two laptop carts available to classes during the school day, there is one computer lab, and the library has enough computers for maybe two classes.  What happens when all your options are closed and your class needs to research?  Most teachers would do what any good teacher would do and make up a new lesson plan on the spot and hope that they can still be productive and not get behind.  If cell phones were allowed then students could simply pull out their phones and use them to search the web, and do virtually everything they could have done with a computer.
            Schools not allowing cell phones to be used during school are fighting a losing battle.  Most students use their phones regardless of the rules.  Some students admitted that they actually get more done in the classes that their teacher lets them have their phones out than they do in the classes where they aren’t allowed to have their phones, because they aren’t spending all their time hiding it while using it.
            With all the budget cuts being made on education, cell phones may just be the answer to our dilemma.
            Whether or not there is a rule against cell phones, students are going to continue to use them: it’s just a matter of whether or not they can be open about it.  There is a happy medium that can be reached with this situation and all it is going to take is for the schools to become more open minded and realize that times are changing.

Reported by Rachel Brazda

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Posted in: Opinion