The negative connotation surrounding cell phone use in the classroom continues to grow as technology increases. However, there are benefits to cell phone use that can often be overlooked. Changing the narrative of cell phones as distractions, to cell phones as beneficial educational tools, can help foster stronger engagement between teachers and students and save students both time and money. Here, the educational technology professionals at SchoolMart examine the controversial nature of cell phones in the classroom, and how to navigate these challenges during the school year.
Cell Phone Use in the Classroom Can Be Controversial
It’s no secret that the current generation of students has a connection to cell phones unlike what has been seen before. Today’s students have grown up with cell phones and other similar technology from early childhood. The ability to find information with the click of a button, and reach anybody at any time, contributes to the constant stream of communication between students and their peers. However, this comfort can lead to dependency, and ultimately addiction. Due to the nature of modern cell phone use, it’s understandable that schools would be wary of students using their phones in the classroom. However, focusing on using phones as a tool instead of a disturbance can create a healthy dynamic for learning.
Students Can Save Time and Money
Cell phone use in the classroom can save students money, as they have the ability to access reading material, such as textbooks, through digital modalities. The online version of a textbook can be up to 60% cheaper than its printed equivalent; when students have to buy reading material for multiple classes, these prices can add up quickly. The same concept applies to educators—supplying students with class-sets of textbooks and other reading material can make a significant dent in your classroom budget. Not only are e-textbooks cheaper, but they can be accessed from anywhere. If students need to study outside of school hours, they can easily pull up the exact chapters they need and take their textbook on the go without hassle. Students can also save time and strengthen their organizational skills by using various planning apps. Setting up text or email reminders ensures that students can navigate their schedules with ease, and allowing parents access to their schedule helps the entire family keep track of what is due.
Cell Phones Can Be an Educational Resource
Not only can cell phones save students time and money, but they also serve as an educational resource. Many teachers have moved away from classroom-wide cell phone bans and towards incorporating phones into their daily lessons. For example, teachers can create polls for their students to take before an exam. When they see that a large percentage of students are struggling with certain questions, they can make sure they review that material in detail before the exam, rather than waiting for their students to ask questions when it is too late. Cell phones can also be used for interactive learning experiences and give teachers the ability to add variety to their classroom instruction. Having class outside, or taking a field trip to another location, often results in crumpled, dirty, or lost worksheets and notes. Giving students the opportunity to use their phones to take notes, and research a topic they may be passionate about, provides a chance for interactive learning and stronger retention.
Learn More with the Educational Technology Professionals at SchoolMart
At SchoolMart, we are dedicated to providing information on the latest technological trends and how they can affect your classroom. Using cell phones as a tool for students in the classroom can seem counteractive, but can actually help with student engagement and retention in a significant manner. To learn more about how you can incorporate technology into the classroom, contact the educational technology professionals at SchoolMart today.