In each class during the first week of school, we go over a syllabus. In this syllabus, there are expectations that each teacher presents to the students to avoid problems later in the semester.
Most of the time, an expectation for students is to be engaged in class. This includes not being distracted by cell phones by texting or even by using apps.
Some students ignore this policy, while others embrace the chance to disconnect. Those students who ignore the policy might have valid reasons. Maybe a family member is sick, and they find comfort in checking their phone to assure that everything back home is OK.
While there can be some valid reasons for cell phone use in class, students could take their business out into the hallway, so they are not disrupting the rest of the class. Constantly checking their phone disengages the student from their full ability to learn.
According to Oxford Learning’s “Cell Phones in the Classroom: Learning Tool or Distraction”, cell phones can cause distractions “…particularly if the teacher is constantly telling students to turn their devices off.”
Sometimes students can get away with their cell phone use if they are being discreet, but if the teacher draws attention to the situation then it makes all other students aware that there is a device in the room. This distracts all other students from learning as well.
Another con to having devices in class is because some students might use their device to cheat. Having handheld devices can be an aid to students who cheat.
The article goes on to mention that “Although they can be used as a learning tool in the classroom, this only works as long as students use them effectively.”
I think that everyone should take the opportunity during class to disconnect. If you are fully disconnected, it makes it easier to stay on task and pay attention; a problem that most students have already.
Being on your phone doesn’t just distract you from what is happening in class, but also the students around you. Teachers should try and avoid drawing attention to students who use their cell phones in class as this will distract more students.
All in all, if you don’t absolutely need your phone, put it away for class and tune in to class. Your peers, teachers and grades will thank you.
Karena Ozier is a sophomore elementary education major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]