Digital natives are today’s students. Nearly all four teens have a smartphone and many students bring their phones to school every day. It’s more common for teachers to see students without a phone than one with it.
Is it a good idea to have cellphones in classrooms? Are they a useful learning tool, or a distraction that contributes to social disengagement among children?
We looked at the arguments and numbers of students who have cellphones, as well as the apps they had access to.
Since the introduction of the Motorola DynaTAC8000X in 1984, which weighed two pounds and cost $3,995, cell phones have come a long ways. The subsequent generations of mobile phones have evolved and become more affordable and more portable. They offer more than just a way to call other people.
Schools must acknowledge that all students are using smartphones in school, despite ongoing debate about the effectiveness of digital devices in the classroom. An eMarketer article referring to a February 2016 Flagship Research survey, 87% of 14-18-year-olds polled said they ‘own’ and ‘use’ a smartphone. This is a 12 percentage point higher than the eMarketer figure for 12–17-year-olds.
Evidently, smartphones are being purchased at an alarming rate by young people.
This is what you should know: The Apple Store featured 800 apps in the first month following its launch in July 2008. It had 2.2million users as of January 2017. What number of educational apps is there? According to New America, more than 80,000 educational apps were available in the app store as of June 2015.
Apps can be used to learn everything from colors to ABCs and “The Little Engine That Could” for the younger generation. Applications for smartphones are available from preschool to college.
Why smartphones should not be banned in schools
What are the practical reasons to allow smartphones in the classroom, given the increasing use of smartphones among younger students? These are some of the points to consider:
- Students learn in an intuitive way. Smartphones can be used by young people. Smartphones are being used by more teens than ever before.
- Students have quick access to answers. Smartphones allow them to quickly get the answers they need. Sometimes, students may not be able to ask for clarification in an open class setting. In these cases, they can use their smartphone’s app to find the answer they need.
- Video and audio can bring learning to life. Smartphones have audio and video capabilities that can be used to give voice to John F. Kennedy or to show students the Hindenburg disaster. Smartphones can connect students with students around the world and help them expand their learning experience.
- Get access to educational apps. Adding learning tools to your classroom takes learning to a whole new level. Many educational apps are available in many subjects to suit all learning styles. These games-like activities encourage students to have fun and increase their ability to learn new ideas. Students (and teachers) will enjoy the break from traditional lecture instruction.
- Smartphones are great for social learning. Students can collaborate on projects and share information with their peers using smartphones. They can work together to achieve a common goal in a format that they feel comfortable with.
How to use your smartphone, not if you should
Similar to the problems teachers faced in the past, the challenges of leveling the playing fields, controlling the use of smartphones and preventing misuse are similar. It was texting back then. Both can be avoided, but that doesn’t mean that phones should not be banned. Paper was! ).
Our view is that smartphone use should not be limited to whether they are appropriate, but how best to use them. Critics will point out the potential for cheating, unauthorized socializing and isolation, but the truth is that students use smartphones every day to learn. Teachers can help students make the most of their smartphones in the classroom.
We recommend that you establish ground rules and expectations for smartphone use in your classroom. As with all things, too many can lead to problems. However, just enough can allow you to learn new things.
Learn more about the digital classroom
These articles will help you understand how digital devices affect learning.
- Distracted by : The Device Debate
- The Pros and Cons Of Allowing Digital Devices into the Classroom
- What is BYOD? What is BYOD? Why should teachers care?