It is a debate that has raged on ever since mobile phones became so accessible and affordable in the late nineties and one that has divided scholars, parents and students ever since. Phones in school is such an important issue due to the strong arguments on both sides and in our latest feature here at Almero we take a look at why phones should be allowed in school, or not as the case may be.
Last June, the culture secretary reignited this issue by declaring that mobile phones should be banned from the classroom. This opened up something of a can of worms, as this sparked debate on whether they should therefore be allowed on school grounds at or just used during breaks and lunchtime. This then poses questions of where they should be securely stored or indeed, whether this applies to all levels of education from primary to university. It was a statement that seemed to pose more questions than it answered.
Confiscation at School Gates
Th suggestion by Mr Hancock, that they should be confiscated at the school gates was scoffed at my many, seen by many to be indicative of the discord between politicians and the education system. The question remains though, can cell phones be educational tools or should they indeed be banned?
Many schools have enforced bans, choosing to confiscate the devices if they are heard but this does not of course, guarantee that phones do not make their way into the classroom.
When it comes to phones in school, the argument for each side is quite clear.
The Argument Against Mobiles at School
On one hand, smartphones can be incredibly distracting. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the plethora of other social media or messaging platforms are hardly acacemic tools and this sort of activity is not appropriate for school, many parents also like to monitor the use of these applications.
In addition to this, there is the crucial matter of cheating. A mobile phone holds the key to the wealth of information that is available on the world wide web and this poses big problems when it comes to tests, coursework and exams. Teachers can of course invigilate this, but this adds to the workload of individuals who already have a lot to content with in the classroom, especially when it comes to teenage classes.
As you can see, phones in school does pose some significant issues when it comes to ensuring al students are playing fairly and not gaining and competitive advantage.
The Argument For Mobiles at School
This said, the information that students can gain from their mobile phone can of course be a fantastic educational tool when used correctly. Many schools simply do not have the budget to give every pupil their own laptop, so a smartphone can be a great way to perform research for vital academic documents such as essays, coursework and even for exam revision. There are the aforementioned issues around how this can be monitored, but the value from an educational perspective cannot be denied.
A key argument for why phones should be allowed in school actually comes down to security. It is a sad fact that there are issues in our educational establishments, from bullying and racism to violence. A mobile phone is the best way for parents to kee tabs n their children and of course there is the flip side of the coin and the fact that students may need to call home when certain things happen.
As you can see, there are strong arguments for both sides of this debate and ultimately, it would be very difficult to remove mobile phones from all schools. Policing this would be costly and distract teachers from their actual job, which is to nurture and educate.
However, regulating how these are used does need to be considered in order to ensure fairness and also check that social media isn’t have an adverse impact on the youth of today. School is all about preparing youngsters for their entry into the real world though, and whether not the naysayers agree or not, technology and devices will be a huge part of this.
Find Out More
The debate rages on and will most likely for the foreseeable future. You can find out more about this fascinating debate at the BBC and also find more educational features like this right here at the Almero Student Mansions blog. Remember also to take a look at some of our luxury student properties all across the UK, by heading to the dedicated section of our website.