Debate over cell phones in the classroom continues


Tabi Patterson

A student uses her phone during math class to watch a video to further her understanding of the assignment.

Over the years as cell phones have become universal, the use of phones and other technology has entered the classrooms. Some believe they are distracting and disruptive, while others believe they have a positive impact on learning. Either way, there is an ongoing debate about whether or not this technological device should be allowed in the classroom.

“Kids are on their phones too much during school,” Gage Coleman, junior, said.

In 2017, a study found that even cell phones that were turned off and stashed away still proved to be a distraction for working students. Those who split their focus between work and screen time performed poorly compared to those who focused primarily on school work. Some students even agreed that having their phones present in class was sometimes a distraction for them. 

“Hearing notifications and wanting to look at them while I’m working [is a distraction],” Tyianna Sherman, freshman, said. “I get side tracked thinking about what the notification is instead of doing work.”

However, some students believe phone usage has personally been more beneficial for them in the classroom. Students are able to access the internet with their phones and get help with assignments. They are also able to get in contact with other people and use the available resources on their phones.

“I can use my phone to help me with homework, use my calculator, and ask my friends for help,” Coleman said. 

Parents also seem to be in favor of phone usage when being used for an emergency but they believe regulations should be put in place to make sure technological distractions will not interfere with overall school performance. 

“Phone usage should be regulated in school,” Kimberly Garza, a parent of an AHS student, said. “It should be silenced in class and only allowed when being used for an assignment or emergency.”

To try to get rid of the excessive phone usage problem, teachers have made designated areas for their students to put their phones away during the class period. Some students are in favor of this while others believe it is unfair; those students think the individuals who are causing the problem should be dealt with separately. 

“Teachers shouldn’t target the whole class,” Coleman said. “It should be the individual student who is causing the problem.”  

Though there isn’t a consensus on phones in the classroom, students can agree that they have their pros and cons. Phones can be helpful with assignments and staying in touch with family and friends, but they can also be a distraction and take away from a teacher’s lesson. As phones aren’t going away any time soon, developing a fair plan for phones in school is a necessity.