GUEST WRITER: Ourania Alexopoulos
A sleek brand new iPhone, with all the functions and apps it provides, rarely leaves teens’ fingertips, especially in school. Students should be allowed to have and use these devices in school for many reasons. The debate pertaining to smartphones just being a distraction or actually increasing students ability to access information during school is a well known argument.
Smartphones are helpful tools that can be useful to students in many ways, such as communication. Most parents at some point will need to reach their child in class. Whether it’s an emergency health situation that has to do with a family member or a bus they need to catch after school, parents need to be able to communicate with their child.
Although there are phones available at school, cell phones provide instant communication that can be sent via email or text.
The website “LoveToKnow” reports that the efficient and quick transfer of information alleviates the workload of the school administrative team, which can help on a busy day.
Students also have the biggest source of information to be accessed on their phone: the internet.
Using the internet gives students access to a surplus of information that can be used for diagrams, research papers, etc. In fact, “LoveToKnow” also explains how the various applications on cellphones make accessing information quick and simple.
A calculator for example in math class, or just searching definitions to words in English you may not know. These tools make the task of getting info a lot faster and easier. They even can make work less stressful and help students be studious.
It can be extremely difficult for students to focus in class, so music can be an aid to relaxation and attentiveness.
According to John Hopkins University School of Education, “music stabilizes mental, physical and emotional rhythms to attain a state of deep concentration and focus in which large amounts of content information can be processed and learned.” This shows that if some students who have difficulty staying on task and doing their work or simply just get distracted easily could seriously benefit from listening to music in class.
Of course there is the argument that cellphones could be used to cheat on assignments and tests and hide how much students actually understand the topics they are learning.
Teachers should have different policies for classwork, instruction, and taking tests. This way cheating can be avoided entirely and students understanding on subjects can be acknowledged and addressed.
Smartphones have the potential to really help students. Technology is what surrounds us everyday, instead of constantly associating cell phones with being a distraction, they could give students the tools they need to be efficient and successful students.