Cellphone use in Public Schools
The number of Americans who own a cellular device: 302,947,098. It is over ninety-five percent of the country’s population, and yet for nearly a fourth of one’s life, they will experience a period where this technology is needlessly banned. Rather than hinder the progress of technology, schools can embrace cellular devices as a powerful learning tool, while cutting budget costs in the process. Regardless of any further rules, students will undoubtedly continue to bring and use mobile technology in public schools.
As I have personally witnessed, most students perform their texts behind a teacher’s back, or under their desks, without ever being caught. Debating whether or not to ban it is pointless. Students already know how to hide the phones from teachers. With the student-to-teacher ratio as high as 15.7:1, the instructors must not only educate, but keep an eye out for students using cellular devices, which could possibly distract them from their actual task.
Such a large number of students have cell phones, that even taking a handful would be meaningless. Cheating is perhaps the only valid reason to ban cell phone use in schools. However, it can be done just as easily without mobile devices, especially in schools containing numerous computer labs, where they are readily accessible. As history has shown, any effort to fight against technology is insignificant. Not only is technology inevitable, it is also powerful. In a short span of only five years, cell phones begun approaching laptops in terms of utility.
A computer is no longer needed to email or use other valuable tools. In the classroom, a mobile device has an unimaginable number of uses. A teacher could use certain software to take polls and even send the students on scavenger hunts. The range of available software consists of word processor, animation programs, spreadsheets, and even concept math. These turn a cell phone into a portable classroom.
A mobile device’s utility can be as simple, yet valuable, as a calculator. The possibilities of a phone can extend far beyond the classroom. Using some more simple, yet effective, functions, students can photograph and take video for other school projects. With MP3, it is even possible to perform an impromptu interview or record a lecture. It can even be used to push note-taking into the digital age.
The most appealing benefit of introducing mobile technology to schools is the huge sums of money that can be cut from a budget. Today’s cellphones, even inexpensive ones, are incredibly powerful tools in comparison to earlier models. It is uncommon to find a student without a mobile device in this day and age. Even among impoverished families, cell phones are popular, making the technology widespread and known by almost all. In schools today, technology is essential, but it also must be affordable. School’s today build a robust infrastructure that can handle an immense quantity of students hitting the network at one time.
The type of network needed to manage that traffic can cost between $75,000 and $100,000. Cellphone carriers provide the devices almost entirely free of cost to a given school. A stout infrastructure is no longer needed, thus saving the school a large amount of money. Technology’s progression will not be stopped; schools that adapt cell phones as tools and efficient budget-cutters will experience the benefits. A more modern system of learning is needed; one that will utilize the vast amount of technology we have available in this age.