Blog: Important points
by dorishall

Phones for education

The jammer was installed in 2009 and was used during class time, but was turned off during other parts of the day.

Date:   4/24/2020 10:26:02 AM   ( 18 mon ) ... viewed 510 times

To avoid distractions and cheating, many professors have banned texting in the classroom, while others feel that if students write my paper and paying attention in class, then they will suffer the consequences at test time – assuming they aren’t using the phones to cheat. While it may seem obvious that a distracted student isn’t learning, a bigger problem occurs when texting starts to impact other students who are ready to learn.

“The biggest problem is I think it distracts other students as well besides the student who is doing it,” chemistry professor Laura Salazar told the National College Marketing and Advertising publication The Grand Views.
This distraction can cause students to miss important points, lose the thread of a discussion, or fail to absorb and integrate lessons, according to educators. As a result, many educators have begun to get tough on texting.
At the high school level, some schools have begun instituting zero tolerance policies that forbid cell phone use during class time. In one case, such a ban has led to police action to stop students from texting. According to the Smoking Gun, a 14-year-old Wisconsin girl was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in 2009 for refusing to stop texting during class. 

In Washington State, one school even resorted to using a cell phone jammer to stop students from texting during class, an activity that they felt disrupted learning. The jammer was installed in 2009 and was used during class time, but was turned off during other parts of the day.

“We believe that there are times during the school day that parents need to have access to students and students need to have access to family members, and doctors and things like that,” school Principal John Hook told KHQ-TV, defending the use of the jammer at only specified times during the school day. However, the cell phone jammer was found to be illegal under FCC regulations, and the school stopped using it three days after installing it.

At the college level, texting policies vary. Many schools leave individual professors responsible for deciding the texting policies in their classrooms.

Not all instructors agree that texting and instant messaging are a problem. According to Lisa Nielsen of the New York City Department of Education, cell phones can actually improve the classroom experience. Texting and instant messaging, along with websites like Twitter, can be used to improve teaching by providing students with a way to ask questions anonymously, take part in classroom polls, and use the internet’s search power to supplement classroom discussion. These forms of interaction and feedback can make students feel empowered and involved in their own education.

“Integrating texting into teaching isn’t hard,” Nielsen wrote on Walden University’s ConnectEd website, “especially when you start by using the device in your own pocket/pocketbook. By doing so, educators are not only helping themselves, but they are also providing students with a great example of how these tools can be used for more than just socializing.”

Ultimately, whether text messaging, instant messaging, or cell phone use becomes a distraction or an enhancement to a student’s education depends on how the device is used. While experts may disagree on the value of texting, most agree that it is up to each student to choose to use these devices appropriately and to put them away when they become too distracting.

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