Cell Phones in the Classroom, Ya or Nah?

Two classmates and I constructed a conversation between a concerned parent, a classroom teacher and principal of a school. Take a look at their text message conversation one school day morning.

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The parent believes her child is losing opportunities for engagement and learning about technology by not being allowed her cell phone in class, however the classroom teacher has been having difficulties with the students using their cell phones inappropriately during class time. The principal wants to please both parties by presenting the knowledge s/he has about the topic and to try something different that may help benefit all involved.

If you look at this conversation critically, it is quite hypocritical. The teacher and principal are texting a parent during class time. This conversation could have been set up to have in a face-to-face meeting, like the teachers are advocating for the students to be doing. Most of the sources the principal also refers to are studies done in England, by white dominant schools led by males. While this may or may not matter, it is something to consider. Not once was it considered how the use or discontinued use of cell phones may affect cultural practices or beliefs. I think the meeting should have also been had between the entire staff and entire school community of parents and students, this would allow more voices to be heard and for all to receive the same message in the end.

I, personally, do not know where I stand on the issue. Most classrooms I have been in students do not have cell phones or social media yet, so I cannot speak to experience from a teacher’s perspective. However, as a high school and university student I can honestly say my phone is a huge distraction during class time and unless I place it out of reach and on silent, I will constantly check it for no reason at all.

I invite my readers to share their experiences with cell phones in the classroom or your opinion on the conversation and strategies presented in the conversation, or in which you may have added to the conversation for either side.

Here are the links to the sources we used to construct our conversation:

https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/pros-and-cons-of-allowing-digital-devices-in-the-classroom/ 

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/360/do-smartphones-belong-in-middle-school-parents-teens-and-others-weigh-in

https://www.itv.com/news/2018-09-04/six-out-of-10-parents-think-smartphones-should-be-banned-in-school-survey/

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44546360

https://homeschoolingwithdyslexia.com/best-apps-dyslexia/

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/02/17/586534079/should-the-parkland-shooting-change-how-we-think-about-phones-schools-and-safety

3 thoughts on “Cell Phones in the Classroom, Ya or Nah?

  1. Thank you for sharing your insight Justine. The debate surrounding cell phones is an interesting one for sure. In EDTC 400, we had a debate about this issue and there were an array of perspectives. In any case, I think there are many pedagogical approaches educators my take here and it is important to acknowledge these perspectives, even if they may differ from our own (as each teacher may have a differing view as to how or if cellphones are used in the classroom as is their own educational philosophies). Feel free to take a look at some of my EDTC 400 classmates videos surrounding this topic:
    -Always Banned: Kendall https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=uohULjfJJG8
    -Never Banned: Cody https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lUrhKV0Vmc
    -Allowed Only in High School: Tiana https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wvb6dSQOu6U

    Like

  2. Pingback: Shyla Froshaug's Education Journey

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