Cell phone addiction has become quite a social issue. In the case of children, its gravity seems to enhance manifold as children are increasingly being affected by overuse of this device. The problem now seems to be more alarming, because students are carrying their cell phones to school regularly. A 2010 study by PEW research study center, disclosed that 65% cell phone owning teens, bring their phones despite a prohibition in their respective schools.
Parents, educationists and school management are all concerned about this issue and hot discussion is going on about whether these should be allowed or banned in schools. Arguments are galore both for and against of its use. The situation however demands, that a balanced review of the whole issue be made and a decision should be made in the larger interest of society in general and education in particular. We are going to deliberate on different aspects of this problem in order to have a better understanding of the whole issue.
First, we take into accounts the various negative effects of the usage of a cell phone at schools.
Distraction/Disruption in class:
The use of mobile phone disrupts smooth proceeding of class and creates a distraction for teachers and peer. It also affects classroom discipline negatively. Quite often it happens that during a lecture when all students listen to the teacher with focused attention, suddenly a ringtone of Smartphone breaks the whole process of communication.
The cell phone culture at the school is impacting the academic performance as well. The decrease in attention level of students negatively impact their understanding of the subjects taught in the class and resultant their test scores also fall. It appears that usage of a cell phone in the classroom has a direct negative-impact relationship with academic performance. This was evident in the result of a study conducted by the University of Texas and Louisiana, which reveals that when schools prohibit students to bring their cell phones, the grades start showing positive improvement. In this study the participant student’s grades showed an average improvement of 6% after the ban on using smartphones in schools.
Use of digital devises for cyber harassment is on the rise in schools because of uninterrupted use of cell phone by students. This act is not easily identifiable as students keep on sending text messages, images or videos which are offensive. The frequency of complains regarding the sharing of personal data on social media platforms is also escalating at schools. It is quite comprehensible that meaningful academic activity is severely hindered at least for victims of cyber bullying.
Cell phone – A tool for cheating:
Reports of using a cell phone in exams as a tool for cheating through copying material are now galore in media. This menace is now a global phenomenon. In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for instance this has become an organized crime where people outside the school premises keep helping students in attempting questions at their tests.
The governments and regulators are now responding to the challenges posed by the overuse of cell phones at schools. France for example has banned Smartphone and other internet-connected devices such as tablets in schools for children from 3 to 15 years of age.
Now, some positives of cell phone:
There is another side of the smartphone also. It can prove a wonderful educational tool for research by assignment writing help and learning. Here are some pros:
Easy access to information:
Students can have additional information related to course during class and may share with the teacher and fellow students.
A great dictionary:
The urge to know the meaning of a word, idiom or some technical term is best satisfied with cell phones. They can now instantly come to know the meaning of the desired word which facilitates their conceptual clarity.
Modern smart phones are equipped with useful accessories like stop watch or calculator which are very useful in the learning process. Instead of keeping a separate tool for calculation and time management, all they need is this all-in-one gadget.
Safety and Emergencies:
In case of emergencies cell phones facilitate communication of students with their parents, who can have a better know how about their whereabouts.
I do not favor an outright ban but support a controlled use of cell phone in class and school. For example a thorough search before entering exam hall can be conducted and all cell phones should remain under Management’s custody during the exam.
The use of a cell phone should be allowed strictly for educational purposes. The school’s code of conduct should clearly mention that interruption of class room discipline, through cell phone will be a punishable act. The students must be clearly communicated about rules to use a cell phone during school hours.