Stop cell phone use in class


Juleanna Culilap

Suggested changes in the state's social studies curriculum minimizes the importance of several significant figures in United State history and this is a disservice to students.

Wingspan Staff

Most high school students have a cell phone or tablet that they can bring to school daily. On campus, cell phones are allowed in many classes but this can lead to distracted students, cheating, and increased screen time. Add all of this up and there’s only one conclusion, cell phones should not be allowed to be used during class time, and teachers should confiscate phones of any offenders.

In a study conducted by Rutgers University and published in the journal Educational Psychology, researchers found students that were allowed to use cell phones or laptops for non-classroom purposes scored half a letter grade lower on exams than students that were not allowed to use these devices. To make even things even worse, students who didn’t use a device, but were in the same room as those that did, also scored lower on exams.

Yet another study shows that when students use cellphones in class, 85.99 percent use it for texting or social media. If that’s not enough, approximately one-third of students will use cell phones to cheat on tests and/or quizzes.

During a quiz or a test teachers sometimes walk around the classroom to check if students are cheating, however teachers cannot keep their eyes on every student at once. When a students’ phone isn’t taken away during these test and quizzes, the student can take advantage of this and use the cell phone to cheat by searching up answers on the web, or even taking pictures of their test and sending it to other students.

When students cheat on tests and quizzes it defeats the purpose of the test. A test is supposed to assess the students knowledge on the subject and help the teacher understand where the student is at and how they can be helped if needed. But when students cheat on tests with their cell phones, it doesn’t accurately reflect their own knowledge, but instead reflects the internet’s knowledge.

Beyond academic concerns, there are physical ones as well. Too much screen time can cause bad eyesight and blurred vision. This is because cell phones are designed for reading at close range which means the user’s eyes must constantly refocus and reposition to process the graphics and text on the screen. This causes the user’s eye the strain, leading to bad eye vision.

That’s not to say there can’t be benefits to cell phone use in class. Whether it’s taking pictures of a PowerPoint to go over at home, recording a lecture, or doing research, there can be benefits to students using cell phones. However, even these positive uses can be offset by the school’s supply of Chromebooks which offer many of the features of cell phones without the ability to access social media sites or texting.

There’s no arguing technology in the classroom has benefits, but the positives of cell phone use specifically are far outweighed by the negatives. Allowing students to use their phones during passing periods, advisory, or lunch is more than OK, and students should have the choice to bring their cell phones to school, but when they step into the classroom, they should be put away.