With the releases of the iPhone 6, the Samsung Galaxy 4, and the Samsung Galaxy Edge, numerous people have been rushing to stores, cash in hand, to purchase these innovative devices. This act is a demonstration of how Americans’ phones are increasingly becoming a more crucial part of their lives; people nowadays use them for everything, from basic communication, to social media, to entertainment. And now, the use of smartphones is steadily being introduced into the field of education. There seem to be many opposing views on this topic; while some say that the idea of introducing new technology into the classroom is brilliant and adds to the learning experience, critics of this view say that it is a distraction. This leads to the question: Are smartphones at school adding to or detracting from learning?
Many people believe that smartphones are a bad idea when it comes to education. This opinion is not without reason; with the easy accessibility to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat on a student’s phone, it is extremely simple for one to become distracted during class. Additionally, having one’s phone with them during school can make cheating during tests infinitely easier; a student need only text a friend for help or Google the answer. Finally, phones ringing or buzzing during class can certainly be a distraction; how can one focus while noises are constantly emitting from phones?
Despite these drawbacks, many people are in favor of having smartphones present in the classroom. With new apps such as Edmodo and Remind, it is becoming easier for teachers to communicate with their class; teachers can send important messages to their class and be sure that their students always receive the message. Also, having things such as calculators and dictionaries on smartphones is decreasing the need for students to carry additional items in their backpacks; whenever an item such as a calculator is needed in class, a student can simply whip out his or her smartphone and open the calculator app.
Clearly, there are many pros and cons to having smartphones in the classroom. However, do the pros outweigh the cons? Or vice-versa? Can solutions be found to the problems that having phones at school pose? Or, will stricter rules on the usage of phones in class need to be put in place? Time will only tell.
– Rachel Baldauf