Smartphone have various pedagogical advantages that can be leveraged by the education system. For instance, educational institutions have embraced technology through the development of social media platforms that facilitate discussion forums between the students and the instructors. Such discussions can be constructively developed to help the students to attain course objectives faster and more effectively. However, recent trends in the use of smartphones have seen more students bringing the devices to class and using them during their classes. Technology has become uncontrollable because the students spend most of their time on social media, and it is a distraction in class.
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Furthermore, the use of smartphones to access various social media platforms have also led to an increase in cases of cyber-bullying. For instance, students may use their smartphones to critic the dressing code of one of their classmates or even ill-talk their teacher while in class. These are some of the issues that are threatening the performance of the students because they are sources of distraction, rather than an advantage to the education system. It follows that parents, teachers, and the authorities in the education system must look into the development of a feasible way to eliminate the use of smartphones and social media during the class time. Children at school need to be discouraged against cyber-bullying, sending malicious text messages to their peers, and sharing inappropriate videos and images during class time.
Statement of the solution
Growth in technology has seen many teenagers being lured into the use of social media platforms, and the addictive nature of the platforms is associated with negative effects. Some of the issues highlighted by researchers on the issue include an increase in cyber-bullying cases, lower performance in school, and erosion in the social skills of the teenagers. This paper focuses on the effects of smartphones on students when they are used during class time. Teachers have repeatedly reported cases of students being addicted to their phones to a level that they cannot concentrate in class. While some of the proposed solutions are viable, it is apparent that there is a need to develop more comprehensive solutions that consider the needs of the students. Students should particularly have the chance to access the internet through their smartphones at all times, but it is imperative to control the type of information accessed during class time.
Critics claim that it is not necessary to teach students how to use their smartphones because they already know when and how to use them. It is apparent that most teenagers have a higher prowess in using smartphones when considering the ability to text faster and to use various texting skills that pass messages faster to their peers. This implies that the students using smartphones in class spend very little time sending various messages, and this would typically serve as a way to keep the classes interesting by breaking the monotony of the long lectures and notes taking. However, a study conducted at the Boston College revealed that when students are allowed to send random text messages through social media platforms in class, they are likely to lose concentration, and they end up missing some of the major points introduced by the instructors (Kowalski par. 2).
This results in lower grades for the students who are constantly texting in class. The study at also proposed that while it is not possible or ethical to force students to keep their smartphones away from the classroom, it is possible to train them to use the smartphones more effectively. The solution lies in the development of a platform where the students can only send texts that are related to the subject matter in class (Bik and Goldstein 1). This implies that they have to be attentive to find interesting facts or opinions to post on their social media platforms. The study clearly highlighted the fact that using this approach increases the performance of the students because the smartphones do not act as sources of distraction; rather, they provide a platform for the students to ask relevant questions and make some appropriate observations about the lessons.
The contemporary world has seen the global society embracing technology fully, and the use of smartphones is particularly one of the most popular ways of spreading and accessing information. Banning smartphones in schools is, therefore, an injustice to the students because it limits their ability to connect with the rest of the world in information sharing. However, it is apparent that using smartphones is one of the major distractions in class, and it is likely to result in the lowering of the performance levels of the students (Warnich and Gordon 44).
Since the classrooms are designed to provide information relevant to the curriculum, it is imperative for the administrative functions in schools to banning the use of smartphones in class, unless authorized by the teachers. Studies have revealed that one of the primary characteristics of smartphones is the ability to multitask; hence, the users have all their attention drawn from the instructors in class when they use their phones. Studies have also shown that excessive use of smartphones and the associated social networks might have a negative effect on the psychological development of the students (Thomas et al. 296). For instance, when teenagers are forced to keep away from their smartphones, they portray withdrawal symptoms that are associated with boredom and agitation. Banning smartphones from the classrooms will ultimately train the teenagers to stay without using them for hours; hence, it is a rehabilitative solution.
While most people believe that everyone should have the freedom to access information through the internet, it is important to develop a system that monitors the use of smartphones in class. It would not be ethical to ban smartphones in schools, but an alternative to banning them in class is the development of a system that monitors the usage of smartphones in class. For instance, some students may need to search for more information about the topics introduced during a particular lesson, while others may only use their smartphones to access various social media platforms that are not helpful for their learning (Baker et al. 276). The monitoring system should be designed to flag the students using their smartphones to access irrelevant information on social media during class time. Such students should be punished by being forced to switch their phones off or being banned from bringing them to class for several days. This negative reinforcement of behavior would be quite instrumental in nurturing the use of smartphones to access relevant information among the students. Since parents and teachers are aware of the negative and positive effects of using smartphones, it is important to train their children to use the devices to access the appropriate information at the right time (Thoman and O’Bannon 13). They should focus on leveraging the pedagogical advantages of smartphones, rather than allowing them to lower the performance of the students, which will subsequently result in lower competitive power in the employment market.
The use of smartphones in class is one of the major issues that teachers in the modern world have to deal with. It is a source of distraction for the students, and it is likely to lower their performance significantly. One of the alternative strategies to eliminate the issue is to completely ban bringing smartphones to school, but this would only lead to an injustice to the students because it would deny them the opportunity to connect to the world through various online information channels. It would be best to monitor the use of smartphones or to ban them in class, but not in school. Some critics also believe that students should have the freedom to use their cell phones because it only takes a few minutes from their class time, but studies have shown that it erodes their concentration. A better approach would be training the students to use the smartphones to share information about the topics in class. The most viable approach toward solving the issue is to eliminate the chances of accessing irrelevant information through smartphone while in class. Technology can be used to provide a platform where certain social media platforms are blocked within the classrooms to discourage the use of smartphones during lessons.
Baker, William, et al. “On the Use of Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices in the Classroom: Evidence from a Survey of Faculty and Students.” Journal of Education for Business, vol. 87, no. 5, 2012, pp. 275-289.
Bik, Holly, and Miriam Goldstein. “An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists.” PLoS Biol, vol. 11, no. 4, 2013, pp. 1.
Kowalski, Kathiann. When Smartphones go to School. 25 Nov. 2008, www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/when-smartphones-go-school. Accessed 7 December 2016.
Thomas, Kevin, et al. “Cell Phones in the Classroom: Teachers’ Perspectives of Inclusion, Benefits, and Barriers.” Computers in the Schools, vol. 30, no. 4, 2013, pp. 295-308.
Thomas, Kevin, and Blanche O’Bannon. “Cell Phones in the Classroom: Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions.” Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, vol. 301, no. 1, 2013, pp. 11-20.
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Warnich, Pieter, and Clare Gordon. “The Integration of Cell Phone Technology and Poll Everywhere as Teaching and Learning Tools into the School History Classroom.” Yesterday and Today, vol. 13, no. 1, 2015, pp. 40-66.