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Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you agree with students turning in cell phones to the teacher when they walk into class?

Asked by Dutchess_III (37977points) September 19th, 2017

I agree whole heartedly. It’s no different than us trying to take a board game or cards into class when we were kids.
Sometimes a phone may be used for a specific assignment and that’s fine, but I wouldn’t let the kids have them during class otherwise.

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49 Answers

josie's avatar

In a previous generation, would teachers or administrators or boards had tolerated the notion of students plugging telephones into an RJ11 outlet in the classroom as class convened?
Of course not.
So why would they tolerate the modern version of this now?

johnpowell's avatar

I do not think they should be confiscated on entry. There is a security issue there. Like maybe I can get some nudes of my students.

Perhaps just boot if you think a person is cheating. Or just say no cell phones in class so leave in your car or at home if there is a test. If you come with a phone you miss the test.

But yeah. I would not turn over my phone.

chyna's avatar

All phones should be left in their lockers. Not even brought in the room. I can already see some parent being all butt hurt that their child could not be at their beck and call at any given moment due to an imaginary emergency. I can also see a teacher being blamed if there is a cell phone malfunction after having confiscated a phone.
I worked with this idiot that thought it was funny that her daughter texted her for answers during tests. She gave her daughter the answers.

canidmajor's avatar

My friend who is a high school English teacher set up a “garage” with assigned slots for students’ phones. The students can see them at all times, but not use them. They put the phones in before they sit, take them on the way out. No one can mess with them, but no one can text or cheat.

DominicY's avatar

The rule at my high school was no electronic devices visible. You could keep it in a pocket or a backpack, but if the teacher saw it out (or it made a noise in class), they could take it away. I don’t think turning them in is the worst idea, but I think there are simpler ways to handle it.

muppetish's avatar

I don’t agree with it for a number of reasons:

(1) Granted, I’m a college instructor not in the K-12 business, but I wouldn’t want to be held responsible for the material possessions of so many students. I feel like if anything was stolen or lost in the shuffle, things could get messy real fast and it would be my neck on the line as the adult supervising the situation.

(2) I don’t agree with setting such a strong authoritarian tone in the classroom. The assumption upon entry is that students are going to do something bad with their phones. This feels different to me than setting the perimeters to which a phone can or cannot be used in the class that could result in punitive measures.

(3) I think collecting the phones because they can distract students underskirts the main issue: cultivating an engaging classroom environment and providing more structure and support for students who have problems with maintaining attention for extended periods of time.

(4) I think children and teenagers should be taught how to use technology according to different scenarios. I didn’t have a cellphone in high school, but I’m very wired to my technology now. It seems unrealistic to completely cut off students who are growing up in a very tech-centered world.

@chyna none of the schools I attended in k-12 had dedicated lockers. In elementary, we had assigned desks, but in middle and high school you had to carry everything on your person at all times.

JLeslie's avatar

I think they shouldn’t be allowed to have it out while class is in session. I don’t think having them turn it in at the beginning of class is a good idea.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s not a just about cheating @johnpowell It’s about playing games or on Facebook instead of focusing on class.

@muppetish I appreciate your view but being a college instructor is a little different. The first thing I noticed in college is that no body cared what I did. If I fell asleep in class (which I never did) they just let me sleep. I was a grown up, it was my decision, and it was my money. You didn’t get in trouble for being late or missing class. You just failed the class if it got too bad. The end.

muppetish's avatar

@Dutchess_III Oh, for sure. College is a different game! But I framed all of my points with k-12 students in mind—not college kids. Wow look at me calling ‘em kids now. Boy do I feel old.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! Anyone under 40 is a kid to me!

But I still would collect the phones if it was my classroom. It’s hard enough controlling 25 9th graders as it is. For many of them, they don’t give a crap whether a classroom is engaging and interesting. They just don’t care about school at all.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Absolutely I do. Teachers and or college professors aren’t paid to entertain, they are paid to educate. A kid surfing the web or doing My Facey SpaceBook crap on a phone, is not getting an education.

ragingloli's avatar

But they should be confiscated if the pupil is caught playing with it during class.

Rarebear's avatar

@ragingloli That’s exactly what they do in my daughter’s school.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah Loli. But to me that’s setting the stage for defiance.

jca's avatar

I didn’t read the previous answers yet.

Yes, I agree with kids not having their phones in class.

Berserker's avatar

As I went to school in a time when they didn’t exist it’s easy for me to yes. Why would you need it in class anyway? We weren’t allowed to bring much that wasn’t school supplies and I remember getting my video game magazines taken away all the time. Probably would have helped if I didn’t read them during class but yeah. If the phones are so bad to have in class the students should be required to leave them in their locker, but I wouldn’t hand over my personal possessions to the teacher.
A video game magazine that you get back after school, fine. But your phone has personal shit in it and nobody can prove to me that some teachers don’t, or wouldn’t, try to snoop.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They can lock their phones @Berserker, for one thing. And they get them back after class. They’d see if the teacher was looking at their phones. If that student left the room for a minute, the rest would tell them if the teacher was looking thorough their phone.

Zaku's avatar

No, because it would add to the already-too-high prison/military/industry-like atmosphere of our schools, as well as the infantilization of everyone.

Instead, tell them they are expected to be respectful and silence their devices and not use/display/fondle them during class, or they will be warned or held for them, perhaps with escalating measures if needed. This would be like treating them as prospective adults and teaching them that using them can be disrepectful/distracting/annoying and developing habits and practice silencing them and not using them.

Donkeyiscoming's avatar

Absolutely not, I believe that if the teacher believes that his/her cell phone will be a distraction for the rest of class then the teacher should first create a rule and let everyone know to keep their phones silent. Then if they do not do that then they should get one warning. If the warning is ignored then the teacher should send him to the office and if this is a continued event the school could always ban the student that was causing a disruption in class with their phone. I should also explain why I am highly against teachers being able to take students phones at the beginning of class is that in my school we have absolutely no rights, I think it’s ridiculous that they force us to be there 7 to 8 hours but when we get thirsty or need to go to the bathroom after hours you have to get a signed pass to leave for a few minutes which they often decline for no damn reason, and after all of that bullshit that they put us through they now want to confiscate our property as soon as we walk in the doors that we are forced to walk through every fucking day.

LostInParadise's avatar

No, I don’t think so. The only problem that should be addressed regarding cell phones is to keep other students from being distracted. If that happens, the teacher should ask the student to stop, just as the teacher might keep students from having loud private conversations. You can’t control a student’s thoughts. Taking away cell phones will not guarantee that the student will pay attention.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ah. Just telling them what is expected should be so easy! Pretty sure that kids know that standing on their desks is a no no, but some of them do it anyway. They know that throwing shit at other students is not allowed, but they do it anyway. They know that telling the teacher to fuck off is not allowed, but they do it anyway.
It’s different dealing with 25 kids, all the same age, all at the same time, and some who have been abused and neglected. They just don’t give a shit. In fact, they do everything to break the rules.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Which is probably at least one reason that our society is going to hell in a hand basket.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@NomoreY_A Bad kids is not a new thing, any more than prisons are a new thing. There have always been angry, abused kids.
The big difference today is the parents of too many kids will instantly and loudly take their kid’s side in a dispute, totally undermining the authority of the teachers and the entire school districts, and, by extension, the laws of the land.
If my kid’s teacher said “No cell phones in class,” then by God, my kids better follow that rule, whether I agree with it or not.
If I really have an issue that I feel is really important I quietly approach the teacher, and if the teacher and I can’t come to an agreement, I go to the principal. Quietly.

Darth_Algar's avatar

No, I do not.

A: Too authoritarian.

B: Too much potential for personal property to be misplaced, end up with the wrong person, etc. Especially since…

C: The property in question tends to contain a lot of sensitive and personal information.

D: I don’t agree with the idea of punitively punishing all just because one or two might break a rule.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s not a punishment, IMO. It’s simply preventative, just like speed limits and other laws.

Also, they can be locked up during class if that’s a real concern. It wouldn’t be like they’d just toss them in some random drawer and forget about them.
As a parent, if I thought my kid’s phone had too much sensitive information I guess I wouldn’t let them take it out of the house. Far more of a chance of the kid losing it than the teacher.

muppetish's avatar

It’s a preventative measure couched on the assumption that students are going to misbehave and would, therefore, require punishment.

LostInParadise's avatar

@Dutchess_III , You can’t force the students to pay attention, with cell phones or without them. I don’t see what is gained by taking away the cell phones.

Darth_Algar's avatar

No, a rule saying that you can’t use your phone during class is preventative, just like speed limits. This is more akin to taking away your car so you don’t go too fast.

If you wouldn’t let your kid take it out of the house then what good does it do them? Also, I’m not talking about the teacher losing it, per say, but rather Billy ending up with Katie’s phone, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some students WILL misbehave @muppetish, and at that age they’ll get the whole class involved. That’s the biggest problem. Rule is nobody can use their phone during class. Bobby uses his phone during class. Teacher then has to stop the whole classroom to tell Bobby to put the phone away. Bobby tells the teacher to go to hell. The teacher tells Bobby to go to the office. Bobby gets his back up, and teacher needs to bring in some back up. Bobby gets pulled out. Teacher then has to spend several minutes getting the classroom back together and try to pick up where they left off. So there you’ve lost 15 minutes, and they only HAVE 40 or 50 minutes for class!

@Darth_Algar That is easy to remedy. Just have a cabinet that the teacher can lock. Each kid is assigned a number for their cell phone and the kids have to put their own phones in their assigned spot and take them out of their assigned spot.
Besides, how often do you grab the wrong cell phone? Kids personalize their stuff more than adults.

LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t see what harm there is in using the phone compared to all the other ways that students can misbehave. If the student plays games on the cell phone and does not disturb anyone else, that sure beats having the student stand on top of the table or talking to a neighbor. All that taking the cell phone does is to create resentment and increase the odds of the student acting out. If you treat the student like crap, why should the student show any respect?

canidmajor's avatar

For the last 5–7 years in a public high school in a city of 150,000, my friend (that I mentioned above) has been dealing with this issues. The kids don’t care, they just do it, nobody’s phone gets stolen, they know what the rules are, it’s just no big deal. When they keep the phones, even though they’re not supposed to, they text and goof with them. The teacher then takes the phone away. It’s more of a disruption than when the phones are just put in a visible rack.
Teenagers are outstanding at forgetting that they’re not to answer a text or whatever.

Really, there is no jack-booted, authoritarian, oppression going on.

As a general rule, they’re not to eat in class, either. Does that sound oppressive also?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III _“That is easy to remedy. Just have a cabinet that the teacher can lock. Each kid is assigned a number for their cell phone and the kids have to put their own phones in their assigned spot and take them out of their assigned spot.
Besides, how often do you grab the wrong cell phone? Kids personalize their stuff more than adults.“_

Sure, until you’ve got 30 kids all rushing to the locker to grab their phone so they can get to the next class. We all know that mistakes never happen in moments of rushed chaos.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is wish is that the parents would step up. The teacher could make it known to the parents as well as the students that cell phone use in class is prohibited. If a student breaks the rule, it would be nice if the teacher could just ignore it, and inform the parents, and have them address the problem. But that just isn’t likely to happen.

@LostInParadise, quietly being on the phone is fine until they burst out laughing and the whole class wants to know what’s so funny. Kids have a NEED to share everything.
To me, it’s like saying as long as the kid is quietly playing solitaire with cards at his desk, instead of learning math or social studies or whatever is being taught, it should be fine.

@Darth_Algar, again there is a remedy for that, such as the kids coming up one at a time to retrive their phone in the last few minutes of class, or the teacher passing the phones out. 90% of what a teacher does is coordinating something between 30 children.

canidmajor's avatar

@Darth_Algar my friend oversees the grabbing of the phones. The kids are more likely to lose their phones in the bathroom than the classroom.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@LostInParadise No, you can’t force kids to pay attention, but to just hand them a device designed strictly for entertainment is a bad move, IMO. I mean, who takes the blame when the kids fail class? Most of the time any more, the kid isn’t blamed. The parents aren’t blamed. The teacher is blamed.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III “again there is a remedy for that, such as the kids coming up one at a time to retrive their phone in the last few minutes of class, or the teacher passing the phones out. 90% of what a teacher does is coordinating something between 30 children.”

And how long do you figure that would take? You’ve basically got like 5 minutes between classes to get to your locker, grab the books, etc that you need for the next class (I know when I was in high school my classes were invariably on the complete other side of the building from each other and my locker was inconveniently located down a hallway that I never used for any of my classes), and you’ve lost a minute or two right off the bat waiting to be handed your phone.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not long. Just a few minutes. Teachers do it all the time for various reasons. They schedule that kind of thing into their class hour.

Darth_Algar's avatar

A few minutes for this, a few minutes for that….it adds up quick.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We know. What’s the worst is 15 minutes wasted bringing one kid under control.

canidmajor's avatar

Less than a minute in a class of 25. According to the professional.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That sounds about right @canidmajor. Especially if the kid’s names are on them. And they should be.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I my experience the teachers who had the least issues with student behavior were the ones who treated their students with respect, like adults. The one’s who have the worst troubles were those who infantilzed their students or who welded their position like an instrument of blunt authority.

Donkeyiscoming's avatar

Um just wanna say if you take some kids phone away it’s just going to piss them off and then all there focused on is wanting to punch the bitch in the face not that they would but students already have enough reasons to be mad at their schools and if schools start taking away there property then it won’t change a thing but only make it worse. Why do you think teenagers are so rebellious.

canidmajor's avatar

Well, I don’t know when you guys were last in school, but mine graduated within the last ten years and they all seemed to not care beyond the initial “oh, maaaaan” complaint.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree @Darth_Algar. There are asshole teachers out there. No doubt.

@Donkeyiscoming “Punch the bitch in the face…” wow. Really? Is that the reaction YOU expect from the students? Beyond assuming the teacher is female.
They might not like it at first but they’ll get over it. Schools have a lot of rules the students don’t like.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, @Donkeyiscoming, that is a stunningly immature post. Are you old enough to be on this site?

Dutchess_III's avatar

And me thinks he should have paid closer attention in English class.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@canidmajor “Well, I don’t know when you guys were last in school”

A couple of decades ago.

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