Should Cell Phones Be Allowed In School? Pros And Cons For Students

Cell phones have become an essential tool for learning in the 21st century. However, people have been debating whether cell phones should be allowed in schools or not. Before one can support or oppose the topic, there is a need to understand what 21st-century learning skills are all about. According to Educational Testing Service (ETS), 21st-century learning skills is defined as the ability to collect, organize and manage information, evaluate the quality and usefulness of information, and generate accurate information through the use of existing resources.

The word “information” appeared three times in the definition – this means information is essential in this era. And in order to access information, you will either need a cell phone (smartphone) or a personal computer. However, there are disadvantages associated with the usage of cell phones especially for students. This is one of the areas this article what to shed light on so as to know whether cell phones should be allowed in schools or not.

Advantages of Cellphones for Students

  • Communication: With cell phones, students can communicate easily and quickly with their teachers, classmates, and parents. They can receive and send information regarding assignments, projects, and schedules, which helps them stay informed and on track.
  • Access to Information: With access to the internet, students can use their cellphones to search for information and resources related to their studies. They can use search engines, educational apps, and online databases to research and learn about a wide range of topics.
  • Learning Tools: Cellphones can be used as learning tools to access educational apps, e-books, and videos that enhance learning. For example, language learning apps can be used to improve language skills, while educational videos can help students understand complex concepts and theories.
  • Emergency situations: In the case of emergencies, cellphones can provide a means for students to quickly contact emergency services or their parents. They can also be used to receive emergency alerts and messages from school administrators.
  • Organization: Cellphones can help students stay organized by providing tools for scheduling, task management, and note-taking. Students can use their phones to set reminders, keep track of their assignments and deadlines, and take notes during class.

Read: Effects of social media on academic performance

Disadvantages of Cellphones for Students

  • Distraction: One of the biggest disadvantages of cellphones in schools is that they can be a major distraction for students. Students may be tempted to use their phones to chat with friends, check social media, or play games during class, which can reduce their concentration and ability to learn.
  • Cheating: It can be a means for examination malpractice i.e. be used for cheating on tests or exams. Students can access answers or information that they have stored on their phones, or they can communicate with others during the exam.
  • Cyberbullying: It can also be used as a tool for cyberbullying. Students can use their phones to send hurtful messages, post negative comments on social media, or share embarrassing photos or videos of other students.
  • Health issues: Some research suggests that prolonged use of cellphones can have negative effects on students’ health, including eye strain, neck pain, and headaches. In addition, excessive cellphone use can interfere with sleep, which can have a negative impact on students’ academic performance.
  • Inequality: The use of cellphones in schools can create inequalities among students. Students from lower-income families may not have access to the latest technology, which can put them at a disadvantage compared to their peers.

My submission is that the use of cell phones in schools must be regulated so as to curb the abuse of it. This means it should only be used as a means to aid their learning and for communication.

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.
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