Mobile phones have been around for over 20 years now and the issue of using them at school has been well examined and debated. Probably more to the point would be the way technology has changed the way mobile phones can used at school, in this case the question really becomes, which mobile phones can be best used at school.
When looking at which mobile phones can be best used at school it stands to reason the issue of mobile phone usage in schools has been generally accepted. This is, of course, far from the truth. In New York for example mobile phones are completely banned during school hours no matter which mobile phones are used. Many other schools throughout the world insist that students turn off their mobile phones during class.
The real issue about which mobile phones can be used at school comes down to three major points, these being:
- Mobile phones are disruptive in class rooms.
- They cause inattention.
- Mobile phone usage is generally socially rude when someone is talking to you – in this case a teacher.
Few people would contest the fact that mobile phone usage in a classroom is disruptive, they are generally responsible for inattention of students and that their usage is socially rude in most social situations let alone in the classroom.
>It must be realised however that the contemporary mobile phone is nothing like its predecessor. Where in the past a mobile phone was meant mainly for conversation, of course it would have been wrong to take it into a classroom situation with it turned on. This would be the same as the students having the right to speak among each other whenever they felt like it. The modern mobile phone is different altogether. It can access the internet, it can do almost anything and its proper usage can enhance a student’s education if used in the right way.
This is why the debate on children using mobile phones at school should be re-visited and it should not be about banning mobile phones in general, it should be about which mobile phones are best used in schools. A late model mobile phone can be a great teacher’s aid if only the children themselves could be taught to use them responsibly.
There have always been distractions in the classroom, daydreaming out the window, talking, one-upmanship and there always will be, regardless of advances in technology. Mobile phones are another distraction but their benefit should not be dismissed too readily as they are already proving most useful in parents being able to keep in touch, knowing where your child is at any time, a great aid in an emergency, and the feeling of never being alone.
If the debate were to change to which mobile phones can be used in schools and how they can enhance learning, the anti-phone-in-school lobby might see it in a different light completely.