He Said/She Said: Should Phones be allowed in class?

By: Hanin Suleiman

There is a new generation coming. This has led to changes in the way that they are being raised. Now they are growing up with devices such as phones, and phones are clearly becoming an addiction for students. They take them to the mall, use them at home, take them to school, and even use them in the bathroom. Teachers aren’t very fond of phone usage in class.

“There are a small number of students who can’t self-regulate yet. If they’re not prompted to put it away, they are hurting their own learning. Choosing what’s an easier route for your brain than a more difficult one, which is focusing, is difficult,” Mrs. Ruiz says.

Ashley Frei, a freshman in high school, and Mrs. Anne Ruiz, a teacher in high school, have been interviewed, and they give their opinions on the big question: should phones be allowed in class?

Ashley Frei is on and off about this. She says, “They should be because you can search up certain things because some things are blocked on the laptop; but they also shouldn’t be because they can be a real distraction to people.”

Ashley says it could help the classroom. An example of this would be a hotspot for your phone if the school’s wifi is down or if the computer crashes. You can transfer Google Docs or Classroom to your phone and work there. A disadvantage is that people get distracted too easily. Some phones are mandatory for some assignments; it just depends on what classes she’s in.

Mrs. Ruiz, an English teacher who also teaches English electives, also thinks phones are an extreme distraction. She says smartphones should be allowed in class as a resource for student learning, but students need to learn to self-regulate and when to put them away. It is important to practice real-life self-regulation, and it is silly to have the internet on our computers but not on our phones.

She also says, “I think if you’re using it like you would use your Macbook to use a particular tool like a creation app, I think in that sense it could be really beneficial.” But she also says, “I think if students lose focus if their focus is split, if it then means they miss instruction if a teacher has to repeat themselves unnecessarily, I think that could be detrimental.”

Mrs. Ruiz and Ashley Frei both use their phones in class; Ashley uses her phone as a recourse or when the instructor says she can use it, and Mrs. Ruiz uses her phone mostly for a timer and smartpass.

Ashley Frei and Mrs. Ruiz both agree it is important to balance appropriate and helpful behavior while using phones in class.

Ashley Frei says that she either uses her phone for smartpass and if a teacher allows it. Mrs. Ruiz also agrees and says, “At the high school level, phones should be allowed in class but with very specific guidelines to maintain their helpfulness and not be something that’s an obstacle.”

Phones should be allowed in class! It all depends on what class you have, but phones can be a very helpful tool for everyone and anyone. I know that my phone saved me when my computer was acting up. Phones should definitely be allowed in class.






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