High schools all over the country are allowing cell pho during school hours and classes because some school officials believe it may be beneficial to the education of students.
Some argue that cell phones and smartphones in high school classrooms could be disruptive to learning as students could become distracted with the beeps, ringtones, vibrations and overall misuse of the device. According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, 92 percent of teen smartphone owners have gone online in the past 30 days on a cell phone.
“It would be a distraction to me because I get distracted when other people are fooling around,” said Autum Taylor, a senior at Will Carleton Academy in Hillsdale, Mich.
Will Carleton Academy’s graduating class of 13 students goes through a specific cell phone monitoring process every morning.
“You have to turn them into the office every day, along with your keys,” Taylor said.
Austin Boyk, a senior at Jackson Northwest High School in Jackson, Mich. said that his school’s cell phone policy has become more lax. The cell phone policy at Northwest High School is to have them off at all times except during lunch time, Boyk said. The graduating class of 200 students may be bending the rules a bit, Boyk said, because some teachers let students use their cell phones during class time.
“In my music class it would be convenient to look up a forgotten lyric and that goes for other classes too,” Boyk said.
Even though Boyk said he gets distracted easily, he said that the use of cell phones in class would be beneficial to look up answers in class.
Alex Mackey, a senior at Michigan State University, said that Northwest High School used to have a really strict cell phone policy when he went there.
“We were not allowed to have them and were taken away if seen,” Mackey said.
Mackey said that Northwest High School is probably more lenient with their cell phone policy because students having a smartphone and texting were not that popular while he was in high school.
Mackey said that he watches fellow college students surfing the Web or playing games on their cell phones every day during class.
“There are so many people on their phones that you just have to figure out a way to look past it,” Mackey said.
Jeremy Patterson, associate principal at Jackson High School in Jackson, Mich., said that he has noticed more cell phones in the last couple years.
The cell phone policy at Jackson High School is slightly different than Northwest High School’s policy.
“The carrying or use of any communication device is prohibited during school hours. All phones must be kept in the student’s locker and kept off,” Patterson said.
Patterson said that allowing cell phones in class would not benefit the education of students and that it would be incredibly difficult to read for long periods of time on a small screen.
Another communication device that is becoming more popular in high schools is the iPad. Patterson said that iPads or computers will replace textbooks soon and that the cost of books for several classes is more expensive and cumbersome than carrying an iPad.
“Schools should begin to purchase the hardware for their students instead of having to purchase independently and/or instead of paying the cost to purchase or replace books,” Patterson said.
Taylor said that her school has laptops available in every classroom so there is no reason to have a cell phone.
Taylor agreed that high schools should require or start having iPads available for students.
“I think it is a good idea because it is easy to carry around, less expensive and has all the benefits of a computer,” Taylor said.
Mackey said that having iPads in high schools would be even more distracting than a cell phone because students would be doing other things on it.
“I do not think it is necessary because I got by fine without one,” Mackey said.
Mackey said he uses his Apple products every day for school and personal enjoyment.