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takito6909's avatar

Should students be allowed to have cell phones in class? Why or Why not?

Asked by takito6909 (39points) February 25th, 2010


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41 Answers

mattbrowne's avatar

My wife is a teacher. It would drive her nuts. Is that reason enough?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

No,unless they are calling you with the!

syz's avatar

Of course not. What possible reason could they have for needing a cell phone in class?

fireinthepriory's avatar

No! I wouldn’t ban them in high schools since I see no harm in checking messages between classes or at lunch, but if a parent needs to contact their child badly enough that they must interrupt class, they can contact the school. Same with university. Phones on silent during class. Anything else is rude.

grumpyfish's avatar

So I was just before the whole “everyone has a cell phone thing” (That hit roughly my junior year of college)

I do not see the point in a high school student having a cell phone turned on during the school day. Could someone explain this to me?

Trillian's avatar

No need. They are a distraction and it’s unutterably rude to the teacher. He/she is up there talking and trying to convey information. To ignore that to blab on the phone is beyond rude, as well as a waste of time.

janbb's avatar

I’ve had students come up to the reference desk while they are talking on the phone. I’m sorry – that’s just rude. There is no reason to be on the phone or texting during a class. I can understand why parents and kids want to have cell phones, but I think using them during class should be a reason for their confiscation.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Cell phones didn’t exist when I was in school. A reasonable compromise should be that the things be turned off when classes are in session.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’ll just take @fireinthepriory answer. I agree completely – no way in hell should they be banned in college or graduate school – emergencies come up and I appreciate the American University system being lax about these things.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

One of my teachers had a great way off dealing with this. He knew he couldn’t police everyone to make sure they didn’t have a cell phone, so he actually allowed them in class under the condition that they must be turned off (not just on silent, but off). If your phone wasn’t off, or if you were caught texting or calling, you forfeited your grade for the assignment we were working on that day. One girl had her phone ring during a quiz (which was a significant portion of our grade) and received a zero. We had no problems with cell phones in class after that.

BoBo1946's avatar

oh no…cheating would be even more rampant!

trailsillustrated's avatar

at my daughters school they have to be turned off cause they have caught people texting under their desks

tedibear's avatar

I would let them have them but I wouldn’t let them have them on. There’s no reason to allow that. Check your messages before school, at lunch and on your way home. I wouldn’t ban them completely simply because emergencies do happen. Sad to say, but you never know when you’ll need to call 911, even at school.

The teacher in me wonders though if students will text each other test questions and answers. If one takes a test during first period and their friend takes the same test during fourth period, there is the potential for texting some answers. (Multiple choice, true/false, etc.) That’s where I have a problem with cell phones at school. A teacher could change the questions around for each period’s test, but that seems like a waste of time.

An issue I have as a trainer is someone responding to a text during a class or meeting. I’m not dumb and I know why your hands are under the table and you keep looking down! Managers are the biggest offenders in this case.

skfinkel's avatar

No. How can they concentrate on the exciting activities of education if they are talking with someone else?

fireside's avatar

We allowed our 13 year old son to have a cell phone and signed up for unlimited texting on our family plan. But when we reviewed the thousands of messages he was sending, we found that he had been averaging about 45 text messages a day during school hours.

Since they only have 3 minutes between classes, that meant that he was texting during class. I see no reason why he should feel the need to communicate with his friends that he sees all day long while they are in class, regardless of how good his grades are.

So, right now, he has no phone whether in school or not.

erichw1504's avatar

I believe students should be able to bring them to school, but during class they should be turned off. If they are caught with them on during class then they should be confiscated until the end of the day and then more severe punishment for repeat offenders.

galileogirl's avatar

We started off with the no cell phones in school but that became impossible to enforce so it went to no electronics in use in class. That led to a lot of “bathroom emergencies” with students using phones in the bathroom. Now it’s no electronics during class time. But that doesn’t solve the texting problem. They hold the phone under the desk and it looks like they are looking at the open book on top of the desk. Most students who are using phones are getting poor grades——which is then blamed on the teacher.

I confiscated a phone and required the parent pick it up. The parent said the kid had to have it in case of emergency. What kind of emergency? Grandma was home alone and if she fell or got sick, she could call the 16 yo. I said if Grandma fell she would be better off calling 911 than waiting for a 16 to get across town so he could call 911.

njnyjobs's avatar

Personally, I think that cell phones should be neither seen nor heard in school. A cell phone used in school in violation of school’s applicable cell phone use policy should be taken from the student using it and returned only at the end of the day.

Fact is that most schools probably have acceptable cell phone use policies in place as part of a student’s annual orientation packet. I know I have to sign off on such forms every Fall.

jazzjeppe's avatar

Of course they should and of course schools and teachers should find a way to use them in education. Every student has one – a piece of high-tech with unlimited possibilities. Schools and teachers have always been late adopting new technology and modernizing their teaching. It’s time to change that. We must change that. We need to keep up with the rest of the world. I mean, if you can use your mobile as flight tickets on airplanes, to buy grocery in the supermarket, why can’t you use it for teaching? Of course you can.

It’s not the kids that are distracting our teaching with their phones – it’s we the teachers who fail to meet our kids at their level in their world. We fail to see beyond traditional teaching and we lack imagination. I say, use the tools you have access to and these fine pieces of high-tech don’t cost you or the school a penny. They all have them anyway! Beautiful!

fireside's avatar

@jazzjeppe – our son’s English teacher encouraged them to use their cell phones during one week where they turned the school into Oceania, from 1984. There was a Big Brother and an Inner and Outer party, as well as Thought Police.

Rules were created and students were encouraged to use their phones to capture others who were not following the rules. It was a good way to engage the kids to really understand the point of the novel, but I can’t think of a lot of reasons to involve cell phones in most teaching activities.

jazzjeppe's avatar

@fireside oh, there are as many ideas on how to use them as there are dedicated mobile-learning teachers! Google m-learning or mobile learning and you’ll see. It’s about being innovative, imaginative and open to new technology. That’s how education is revolutionized and now, the year of the Lord 2010, it’s time to do it. We can’t simply go on keeping our kids in schools where teaching hardly haven’t changed since the early 20th century when we have kids growing up in a high-tech society. Seeing possibilities in mobile phones as well as in computers and the Internet, is one way.

LuckyGuy's avatar

No. There is no point to having one in class. If I ruled the world I’d set up a jamer that blocked them during class hours. If there was a emergency the jammer would be turned off. In an emergency if the parent needed to call the child it would be done through the office.

My kids can text while holding their phones under their hoodies. They don’t have to look. It is just one big distraction.

escapedone7's avatar

I have in the past did some substitute teaching between jobs. I have been in schools and find most forbid cell phones, and yet most kids carry them anyway, turned off, to not get caught with them. Two different scenarios come to mind though.

One, is the many students who stayed after school for basketball or cheerleading practice and such. Many times I have seen a lone student standing out in the dark, after the office is closed and locked up, waiting for a ride. If that were my child, I would want him or her to have a cell phone. Many students do not go straight home but onto babysit and other places, and their parents may desire the student keep their phone on them for use after school. This sounds reasonable.

However I have also seen other things. Bullying. Cell phone pictures taken in the locker room posted on myspace, and other things. The cell phones can be used for cheating if answers are stored in texts. The cell phones can be disruptive.

There is still a question of where a school’s authority ends with this technology too. If a kid at school takes pictures of a kid they are bullying and posts it on myspace, does the school have any authority over this? In my mind, there’s not a simple answer. Bullies existed before technology, but this technology has really increased a bully’s power now. Sometimes the kids being picked on are almost terrorized with texts and myspace gossip. The kids also access their myspace at school in computer lab for instance. I am not sure how we can adapt new school rules and policies, to the new technologies.

The thing is teachers and counselors spend a significant amount of time quelling the teenage drama that goes on with the gossip and bullying. When this magnifies said drama, one does want to just ban the things.

Val123's avatar

Sure! And they should be allowed to play video games in class, too.

DominicX's avatar

They can have them, but they shouldn’t have them on. At my high school, if you were caught texting or if it went off, you would have it confiscated. Surprisingly enough, it didn’t happen that often. The one time mine went off in class, my art history teacher saw that I had an iPhone and then started asking me all these questions about it. I didn’t get it taken away, but man, I was nervous…

deni's avatar

No. Like @DominicX, they should be able to have them, but not use them. In my high school, if a teacher walked by an open backpack and even SAW a cell phone, they would take it. I think thats bullshit because you can’t get it back sometimes until the next day, and cell phones aren’t free.

However I was a constant texter in high school. I got caught way too many times and complained each time but really, there is no need for them in class

Jennifries's avatar

A quick story from my sophomore year of high school:
I was sitting in my Japanese class listening to the teacher when a large group of guys burst into our class room. They started shouting for us to stand back, two blocked the door, and the others all started beating the crap out of one of my classmates. It so happened they were also blocking the teacher’s desk, which contained the only phone.

Security issues (it was an open campus, so it’s hard to secure) aside, if one of us had had a cell phone, we would have been able to call for help, which to me is a nod towards allowing cells phones.
Also, what about the students who drive to school? Should they not have a cell phone in case of emergency?

I also firmly believe cell phones need to be turned on vibrate at bear minimum during school hours, and definitely not used during class. There’s no reason to be texting your buddy during algebra.

And middle/elementary school students? Forget it.

MissAusten's avatar

I don’t think schools should waste time and effort trying to keep cell phones out of the classroom. What are they doing to do, strip search the students? The phones should be off during class, and any student caught using a phone during class should have it taken away until the end of the day. It if happens more than once, other discipline actions should follow.

I like the idea of using cell phones for creative lessons as described above, however. It would be great to have a teacher who could think outside the normal routine like that.

Around here, it’s very common for kids even at the grade school level to have cell phones with all the bells and whistles. My fifth grade daughter has been asking for a cell phone for months now because most of the kids in her class have them. I don’t see the need for her to have a phone, at least until she is walking to school (in a couple of years) or driving. She sees it as a cool toy to have and nothing more. Just when I started to think that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to get her one, a group of 13 year old boys here in town were arrested for sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl who got drunk and passed out at a New Year’s Eve party. How did the boys get caught? They took photos of themselves assaulting the girl and sent them to all of their friends, who sent them to their friends, and so on. They also sent this girl almost 2,000 text messages in one week begging her not to tell on them. As if what happened to her wasn’t bad enough, most of the kids at the upper middle school have seen the cell phone pictures and know every detail of what these five boys did. Since then, I’ve decided my kids can live without cell phones until they get to high school, and even then they’ll be lucky if we don’t disable the texting/photo features.

DeanV's avatar

The professor could always do this.

Val123's avatar

@dverhey Good for him!!!

mollypop51797's avatar

Definitely not. When they have their cell phones with them, the teacher is completely ignored and is wasting his/her time. The students would text each other answers, or just text in general, and it would be WAY too much of a distraction.

grumpyfish's avatar

@Jennifries That’s a pretty specific example that I don’t see generalizing well. (E.g., the tradeoff of having a cell phone in the classroom vs. the likelyhood of that happening again is pretty slim)

I wholeheartedly agree that having a cell phone in a car is an excellent idea. But why it needs to be anywhere but in a student’s locker during the day I don’t get.

buddybear's avatar

yes they should have cell phones you never know if a emegency can happen
it could happen and theirs no harm besides the teacher isnt wasting her/his time shes/hes
teaching other students too oyu know .

Val123's avatar

@buddybear Forgive me, but from the looks of your post you should have spent more time paying attention in the class room and less time on your phone. Further, the question said, specifically, should the students have cell phone in the classroom. The answer is, ‘No.” There is absolutely no reason to let the kids have telephones in the classroom.

mollypop51797's avatar

@Val123 couldn’t say it any better.. I second that

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SilverFang77's avatar

It’s virtually impossible to stop students from bringing cell phones to school unless you emulate Mayor Bloomberg and install metal detectors in all the schools. I don’t think anyone wants to go that route (I hope not at least). The result is, it’s virtually impossible to proscribe them entirely.

My solution would be to have an etiquette policy, such as phones OFF, not on mute or vibrate, during class time, and kept in the pocket or backpack. During test time, the phones would be taken out, turned OFF in sight of the teacher, then left on the students’ desks so the teacher could see clearly that they were off and not being used for cheating.

Before and after school and during lunch, the students could use their phones freely.

vannessa1911's avatar

Kids should be able to have cell phones on silent during school. The teacher could just take the phones away during tests and if they caught them using it even not during a test he/she could confiscate it. Some of you may say that the kids could text or call during lunch or recess but for all schools they aren’t even allowed to take it out during lunch! Kids don’t want to use it during class because other kids can’t use it in class. Most just want to be able to during their free-time at school!!

vannessa1911's avatar

Secondly at my school (elementary school!) we get laptops and we can do a whole lot of things on that wit no one caring about what it is, but then you people say no cell phones during class. I personally don’t see a difference between the two!!

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