A student on a cell phone is the biggest distraction in a classroom. Teachers deal with the daily challenges of cell phones at school. Teachers want students to be able to use their phones independently. Students and teachers can both be affected by distractions caused by smartphones. Some of them may deal with phones when they need to hire a master thesis writing service. There are power struggles that can ensue, and it wastes valuable class time. Teachers need concrete and easily implemented strategies to deal with smartphones in classrooms.
Schools allow students to use their cell phones to protect themselves. This is unlikely to change as long as school shootings continue to be a regular occurrence. Mobile phones can be useful tools in the classroom as well as for emergency situations. A student can instantly find the definition or meaning of a word or concept they don’t understand by using their phone. The phone can also be used to check spelling and grammar. Phones allow students to communicate with each other and experts in their fields. However, it remains to be determined if the benefits of using cell phones at school outweigh the distractions they create.
Teachers will tell you that cell phone use can negatively impact learning in the classroom. Research backs this up. Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that promotes safe technology for children, stated that 50 percent of teens feel ‘addicted’ to their mobile devices. According to the report, 78% of teens check their phones at least once a day and 72% feel the need to respond immediately to messages, texts and other notifications. Multitasking, such as switching between screens or people, can also hinder a child’s ability to learn and perform well at work.
Smartphones provide distractions that students are highly sensitive to. My colleague saw a student watch Grey’s Anatomy in class. Students are also known to text and tweet while they should be working. Jeffrey Kuznekoff conducted a study about college students’ phone usage and found that they are putting themselves at disadvantage if they are using their mobile devices in class, but not engaging in the conversation. Saraswathi bellur, a University of Connecticut researcher, discovered that multitasking in class is likely to hinder academic performance.
My colleagues as teachers and administrators agree that students should learn how to manage their phones in class on their own. My students could use a little assistance with this. In my classroom, I created a phone storage system this year. When students entered my classroom, they were required to put their phones in a bag with their name on it. This was made an official classroom policy and I discussed my reasoning with students.
Both students and parents had to agree on the policy. My classroom was transformed by the ability to store phones. My students didn’t hesitate to do it and seemed to enjoy being away from their phones. They realized they could go for whole classes without their phones and the world wouldn’t end.
Jesper Aagaard, a researcher, suggests that students should attempt to block their phone’s habits. This will allow them to be more attentive in class and outside of school. This advice can be shared with students to help them see the problem and make changes. My students were more open to the idea of having their cell phones stored in class when I shared the research about the negative effects of cell phones in schools with them.
Students will continue to use cell phones in school. It is not likely that this trend will end. Therefore, it is important to be able to manage them effectively. Through this experience, I was able to become more aware of my own addiction to cell phones. Together with my students, we are trying to live a more fulfilling life without our phones.