Should Cell Phones be Allowed in School?

At what age should a Child get a Phone? Should Cell Phones be allowed in school? What are the Disadvantages of using Smartphones in Class or School?
should cell phones be allowed in school
Photo by RODNAE Productions

Living in a tech-infested world, the obsession people have with their phones must not be a rare sight for you. But seeing this obsession growing deep in teenagers, kids, and even toddlers is shocking and even concerning. There is a whole full-blown debate going on this topic that should cell phones be allowed in school or not? This demand often confuses the parents as well as the school. Let’s look at the reasons why cell phones should be allowed in school and why not? After analyzing these, you can see this demand in a new light and make a good decision for the same.

1. Should Cell Phones Be Allowed in School? Pros & Cons

kids using phones in classrooms: should cell phones be allowed in school 3
Photo by RODNAE Productions

Having a cellphone is very common among school students nowadays. But taking a cell phone to a classroom can be disruptive to their learning process. These are a few pros and cons of allowing cell phones in school. Go through these and then decide should cell phones be allowed in school or not?

The Pros are:

  • Extra Security: In the United States, students face a lot of school violence issues like school shootings. According to the Washington Post, since the Columbine incident, US students have endured an average of 10 shootings per year. Moreover, these shootings aren’t only limited to high school students. At Sandy Hook, 20 elementary students were killed. In such dire situations having a cell phone helps a child contact emergency services and their parents. This provides an extra layer of security to the child.
  • A great research tool: When a student is curious about something related to a subject they can easily research that on their phone. This helps students get immediate answers without hindering the class.
  • A wide information arena: Students now no longer have to just depend on their teachers and textbooks for information. They can access a greater area of information through their smartphone and increase their knowledge greatly in the process. They can learn about different languages, theories, and skills through it.
  • Video Learning: Visuals are easy to comprehend than texts. Now with smartphones teachers can provide video information to all the students individually. The teacher can provide the specific name or link of the video to the students and they can easily access it.
  • Access to learning assistance apps: By using different apps you can also better your learning process. For example, using a music app can help. Certain kinds of music help in concentration.
  • Social learning opportunities: Schools have both introverted and extroverted crowds. Some students shy away forms social interactions as they are too introverted. Cell phones help a lot of people come out of their shells. These devices help such students mingle with their classmates better. So, it’s one of the important reasons why cell phones should be allowed in school. (See 8 Facts about The Legend of El Dorado Game Online)

Before you decide should cell phones be allowed in school or not, here are the Cons for the same: 

  • Health issues: Hyperactive indulgence of students with their phones can expose them to blue light that is very harmful to their eyes. If they use phones in school as well they will exceed the healthy daily usage limit of electronic devices which is 10 hrs. Moreover, cell phone usage also causes distractions and a lack of focus.
  • Inappropriate information: The Internet is a place full of fake news and non-credible information. The students having access to such information can deteriorate that knowledge quotient and affect their decision-making skills. Moreover, they can use their cell phones to access porn sites even during school hours.
  • House of Temptations: You all know a cellphone isn’t just used to send and receive text messages. It is full of game apps, videos, photos, social networking sites, and the like. Due to cell phones, students may start focusing on fake social relations more than studies and grades.
  • Potential safety concerns: School students are at a very vulnerable stage and can easily become victims of unwanted online sexual solicitations. Most kids don’t even share such solicitation incidents with their parents. The online world is full of predators and pedophiles.
  • Cyber Bullying: A major percentage of students have faced some sort of cyberbullying in their lives. Cell phones can become a major concern in terms of such bullying as being on their phones 24/7 gives cyberbullies more access to a kid’s life. Must read  What is Area Code 855?
  • Social Disconnect: Being on phones too much creates a disconnect between the students and real-life relations. They don’t interact with family or get involved in physical activities or physical sports. The same disconnect can happen between students and teachers in the classrooms if cell phones are allowed in school.
  • Learning Gap: Not all the students in school are from an economically privileged background and can afford cell phones. These low-income group students will face a learning gap if phones are allowed in schools.
  • Cheating: The temptation of getting answers to tough questions through a simple google search is hard to resist and even in exam situations. The students can also use phones to cheat during exams and tests. This degrades their learning process. The teachers will have to make sure that students aren’t given access to their phones during exams. (See Why is it Important to do your Homework?)

2. 10 reasons Why Cell Phones should be allowed in School

There are pros and cons to everything but we can’t judge a thing from its bad aspects only and should also analyze its fair aspects to make a better decision. To get a complete idea about should cell phones be allowed in school, these are 10 reasons why cell phones should be allowed in school:

  • The use of cell phones in the classroom can help in converting a classroom to be paperless. This will save millions of trees and also develop sustainable and eco-friendly habits in the students.
  • The world around you is digitally evolving. Allowing cell phones in schools can increase digital literacy among children.
  • Cell phones can easily improve communication in schools. Through forums and polls, teachers can easily get feedback from students. They can use apps to create questions for the students and analyze the wrong answers and know what topics need to be taught more efficiently. This will increase the productivity of teaching.
  • Cellphones in schools will also substitute pens and books and thus can save a lot of money.
  • They also act as a bridge of security between parents and children. If anything bad happens at school students can easily inform their parents about the same. For example, in the case of a school shooting a cellphone can save a lot of lives.
  • Using a cellphone, a student can research anything topic in their syllabus. This will solve their academic doubts then and there. It is very helpful for kids who shy away from asking in class.
  • Students no longer have to depend on just textbooks or notes from teachers to acquire knowledge. The wide arena of knowledge present in a smartphone will provide then multitudes of information and knowledge.
  • The visual information present on the phones helps the students in a greater learning experience. As retaining and understanding visual information is easier than texts. Moreover, the phones provide individual video experiences to the students.
  • The phone provides the students access to learning assistance apps. Like language teaching apps, music apps with special music for increasing concentration, grammar checking apps, memory quizzes, and the like. This is something to think about while deciding should cell phones be allowed in school.
  • Some students shy away forms social interactions as they are too introverted. Cell phones help such students to bond with their classmates better and also come out of their shells in the interaction process. Also, check out the 20 Reasons Why Students should not Wear Uniforms.

3. What are the Disadvantages of using Smartphones in Class or School?

kid playing video game: should cell phones be allowed in school 2
Photo by Yan Krukov

Now that you have understood why should cell phones be allowed in school let’s understand why they shouldn’t be.

  • Using cell phones in schools will increase the screen time kids are on the phone and the blue light from phone screens will cause great damage to their eyes.
  • Phones provide access to inappropriate information like fake news, pornography, and the like.
  • Due to phones students are distracted and lose their concentration. This affects their grades, intelligence level, and their academic performance.
  • Phones allow pedophiles and online predators to prey on vulnerable students.
  • Being on phone 24/7 can increase students’ exposure rate to cyberbullying.
  • Phones can also make the students disconnect from their social environment. (Also read Why smartphones are bad for society?)

4. Should an 11-year-old have a Phone? Should a 12-year-old have a Phone?

An 11-year-old or a 12-year-old should have a phone as it will help keep your kids safe outside the house. They can call you in times of need. But don’t provide them with a usual phone, give them a phone that is specifically designed for kids. These have basic functions like a camera, calling and texting services, games, etc.  (See Why was School Created?

5. At what Age should a Child get a Phone?

small girls on phone: should cell phones be allowed in school 1
Photo by AV RAW from Pexels

There isn’t any correct or incorrect age for a child to get a phone. It depends on how mature and responsible your child is. Ultimately it’s your call as a parent to decide should cell phones be allowed in school and also the age. If you think your child is responsible enough to have a phone in 8th standard or high school then you can provide them with one. (See How to Deal With a Disrespectful Child?)

6. Cell Phone Rules for 13-14-year-old Teens and Younger Kids

Besides discussing should cell phones be allowed in school and the reasons why cell phones should be allowed in school, there are certain cell phone rules for kids and they are-

  • Kids must know their parent’s numbers and answer their calls immediately.
  • Keeping their number private from strangers.
  • Inform parents in case of unknown texts and calls.
  • Have phone-free times in the day. They should not be on the phone after 9 pm.
  • Not using the phone in school if not permitted.
  • Not using the phone for bullying others.
  • Not to randomly text people or call every 15 seconds.
  • Not to text or be on call while walking or crossing a street.
  • Learning phone etiquette.
  • Understanding that a phone isn’t a right but a privilege and should be used responsibly. (See Importance of Child Behavioral Psychologist)
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