Nowadays, smartphones are something most people can’t live without, young or old. We use them to text friends, watch videos, surf websites, play games, take pictures, etc. These wondrous little technological marvels have become an inseparable part of our daily lives. 82% of high school students are reported to use it highly frequently.
Yet, the question remains as to what role they play in education. Should schools ban smartphones or should they be allowed? Here, we will examine the pros and cons of smartphones in schools.
The Pros of Smartphones in School
One main advantage of having a smartphone with you at all times is it gives you the ability to instantly communicate with someone else. Students are able to contact parents, guardians or the authorities without much hassle and vice versa.
This can be especially useful in emergency situations. In fact, it can be a literal life-saver in dangerous situations such as kidnappings, accidents, and assaults. Smartphones’ GPS tracking feature could also be incredibly useful in the case of a missing student.
Apps to Enhance Learning
Smartphones are all about the apps and the amazing things they can do, these apps can be used in a number of creative ways to facilitate their classroom learning experience. Students could take pictures of whiteboards, voice record lessons, take more organized notes, keep track of schedules and dates, and more. Smartphones could potentially be a tool of convenience that gives students more time and power to focus on their studies.
Access to Information
For all the distractions a smartphone provides, there is no doubt that users have the wealth of human knowledge at their hands thanks to it. With the power of the internet, students can access research, news and videos to enhance their learning. Students will be able to immediately get answers to questions and have additional information available to give context to their studies.
Rather than restrict its use, teachers can actively integrate smartphone usage in class to make lessons more engaging and collaborative. However it could be argued that utilizing tablets or laptops are more appropriate in a classroom. On the other hand, smartphones are more cost-effective and commonly used.
The Cons of Smartphones in School
In modern times, bullying has been upgraded to breach the digital frontier, with 59% of students reporting experience being cyber-bullied. Smartphones can be utilized for digital harassment in and out of school, giving them more and instantaneous opportunities to humiliate other students. A smartphone could also be an indicator of socio-economic status and students using older technology could be mistreated and ostracized. It could also be be used to take pictures or videos of students and uploaded online to mock them.
Of course, with all the wonders of smartphones from games, videos to social media, students could become highly distracted from the many sources of entertainment. Thus, it could divert their attention from lessons and negatively impact their academics. Furthermore, their usage could distract other students around them. In addition, smartphones could be used for cheating in exams and quizzes.
Impact on Health
Frequent usage of smartphones has been linked to negative effects on both physical and mental health. Increased screen time is associated with poor impulse control, addictive-like behaviors, and lack of concentration. Social media use is also linked to poorer self-esteem and increased depression and anxiety.
Additionally, it could potentially further damage relationships by limiting in-person communication. In terms of physical health, bluelight of smartphones could damage eyesight, lead to sleeping issues and more. Thus, some believe time off from smartphones is better for students’ well-being.
Overall, the pros and cons of smartphones in school is a widely debated and important issue that has multiple facets. It has also been argued that rather restrict smartphone usage, schools should accept it as inevitable part of modern life. They argue that the cons can be mitigated by providing more engaging lessons, more postive environments and cultivating good digital citizenship skills. For more interesting articles on controversial topics, browse our education trends page.