I agree with the statement proposed by Jill and Tarina: Smartphone is one of the drivers distracting students from concentrating on their learning in the classroom. But I personally believe that this is not a compelling reason that smartphones should be banned in the classroom. This is primarily because Regardless of whether there is a ban, students will still use mobile phones to study outside the school and continue to use mobile phones in their future workplace. If a Smartphone can make work, communication, and information transmission more efficient, why is it impossible to use it in the classroom?
We have seen many shreds of evidence that smart devices have enhanced students’ learning process. For instance, If a student doesn’t understand a term or concept, the student can search the knowledge instantly. Apps like Google or Microsoft translator can reduce the language barriers for those new immigrant students. As Melinda pointed out:
” For a newcomer life without being fluent in the respective country’s language can be very stressful and having access to a cell phone could help ease this”.
Most importantly, social media, like Twitter provides students with more interactive space to communicate with their teachers and peers, this is an especially effective way to engage those introverted students with classroom discussion. For me, the nature of distraction does not come from the phone itself but the improper use of the mobile phone. Educators must better understand the design of learning scenarios that genuinely exploit the unique pedagogical possibilities of mobile technologies instead of replicating existing behavior patterns.
On the other hand, encouraging smartphone use in the classroom is a way of improving students’ “cell phone etiquette” as it is suggested by Brad. Most children are spending a lot of time online in or beyond school. A poor mastery in digital etiquette is likely to exacerbate social issues improper phone use create. Considering the fact that most parents grew up without relevant education, they may feel helpless when facing such a tricky issue. Therefore, it is important for teachers in their classrooms to teach our children how to behave and treat others online. Failure to do so may result in children abusing technology, harassing others and even putting them at risk of cyberbullying.
Although smartphones can present some risks, it’s important to understand what the benefits are to give your child the guidance they need to make the best out of their smart devices.