Cell Phones in School; Distraction or Teaching Tool?



cell phones in school

Shawn Leonard and Tyler Spurlock

One of the biggest debates is how phones affect the people using them. All around the world, people have different opinions on if phones are helping or hurting people. Cell phones are affecting the way students are doing in school in both positive and negative ways.

Some people believe  phones are affecting the way students do in school. Chase Coalson, a junior at Peninsula High School said, “for sure, because students always wanna be on their phones and I feel like if teachers incorporate phones into the classroom students would learn better.” Time and time again teachers have to get onto their students because their phones are distracting them from their learning in the classroom. Some teachers see phones as a distraction while others see it as a way to help in learning or an easy way to pass time.

One teacher at Peninsula High School who feels very strongly about phones being a distraction is Joel Epstein. Epstein said “They get in the way. They are certainly a distraction in the classroom and students get sidetracked in class. I think some things they do on their phone takes up a lot of brain space, leaving no room for school, causing them to underachieve.” To Mr. Epstein, you need to be able to have a clear mind and not be distracted by your phone to be able to perform to the best of your abilities in the classroom. Mr. Epstein was also asked what the best age to start having a phone is, in which he said “Depends on the maturity of the kid, probably minimum 6th grade.” This makes sense because it is when the kid is starting to become independent and starting to be their own person.

Another teacher who agrees with Epstein is Kim Deminew. When she was asked whether or not phones brought us closer together or pulled us further apart, she replied “I get to connect with people I haven’t seen in a long time, but its superficial. We falsely think we are close to someone because of social media.”  

Amanda Wong, a student at peninsula high school, proved the stereotype that teenagers are constantly on their phones, revealing that her screen time average per day is 6 hours.

But it’s not just students who are having trouble with phones, its teachers too. Jenn Threadgold who is a teacher at Ridgetop Middle School, was asked if her phone affected the amount of sleep she got, and she said “Definitely, most of the time spent on my phone is scrolling before bed.”

All of these testimonies put a bad rap on phones. Of course everyone knows that cell phones are great and help us in a lot of situations, but they hurt us in situations as well. Jenn also said that “In some ways, it keeps us close because you can message anyone at any time, but other times I’ll see people walk by other people with their heads in their screens, and that’s when it makes us lonely.” Although there are many pros and cons to cell phones, it seems that we will never be able to come to a solid agreement as to if they are beneficial or if they hurt us.