Should mobile phones be allowed in schools

My son is in year 7 and I understand that students can sometimes have their phone open in the class and students can also freely use their phone at lunchtime and other times in the school.

I propose that school ban all mobile phones in the classroom and in the playground.

What actually happens in class

Overhearing my son and his friends talk either they or other kids in class

  • Regularly are allowed to use their phones in class (most days)
  • Regularly listen to music in class with the teachers OK
  • Play games in class when supposed to be doing other things
  • Watch You Tube in class when supposed to be doing other things
  • I heard the boys talk and somebody was watching something completely inappropriate in class

At lunch (and other times)

  • My son said he spent lunch watching a friend play a game
  • I feel that lunch should be a place for students to talk, play sport, and do other things and NOT watch their phone.

Other schools

  • My older daughter goes to another school s and I can’t help but compare schools. At that school  phones are not to be brought out on the school grounds and everybody is OK with that and the students talk to each other. I also spoke to some parents at other schools and they were very surprised students were allowed phones in the school and in the classroom.

Challenges for Teachers

In the playground it seems almost impossible for a teacher on duty to ensure students are not watching anything inappropriate in the school yard.  In class if the teacher asks the students to search something up (or listen to music) I imagine it is very difficult to police everybody is doing the right thing. I am sure that for the rare instances where children need to search something then an easy way around that is to give it as a homework task.

I did some research

I did some quick research and found: https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/mobile-phones-in-the-classroom-what-does-the-research-say which says amongst other things “ expecting schools to completely eliminate the problems associated with mobile phone integration, however, is unrealistic;” I also found and read.

Summary

  • I am not an expert but it seems to me with effective teaching and the ability to search when students get home then phones in the school cause more problems than they should.
  • I imagine that implementing a ban would make life much easier for the teachers who do the right thing as having to go around and constantly check what students are looking at on their phone would not be much fun.
  • To an extent schools are competing for students and parents views and the views of parents should be an important consideration.
  • When I went to the introduction to the school day last year one of the things the principal said was that he was frustrated watching too any students on their devices. The school has the power to change that.

PS I am pleased with other aspects of the school, including the teaching and my son is enjoying school.

I did a little Pros and Cons and it seems like

Pros (ie keep phones in school)

  • Be able to search and learn in class
  • Students want phones
  • Some parents (My guess is the majority of parents and potential parents however prefer phones to BE BANNED at school)

Cons  (ie ban phones from school)

  • Get distracted on phones (in class) – not learning
  • Can work around short term searching and learning by doing it at home
  • Students have plenty of time outside of school to be digitally literate
  • If 1 student plays games others will follow
  • Potential bullying
  • Watching completely inappropriate content
  • Not socializing (lunch and other times)
  • Too difficult for teachers to police use of phones
  • Too easy for school to say minimal use in class and for guidelines to then be stretched
  • Many other schools have banned them
  • My wife and I at least PLUS other parents
  • The principal seems frustrated with the use of phones in the school

Post Author: Alex Dance

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