Mobile phones in school?

Maya Driver

These days nearly every child owns or uses a mobile phone and those who don't own one see their friends with them and desperately want one of their own. Mobile phones can be very useful things for children to have but when they start bringing them into school, that is when problems can arise.

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There has been much contention around allowing kids to use their phones in school, with many parents stating that phones are necessary for emergencies, teachers calling for them to be banned and some scientists even claiming that phones help students with their studies. So what is the answer?

The reason for teachers being anti-mobile is that, in class, phones are a huge distraction with kids texting each other, taking photos and videos and playing music. Mobile phones also allow cyberbullying to take place. This is when a nasty photo or video is taken and uploaded to the internet for millions of YouTube users to laugh at. Also, kids who have a good mobile phone may be targeted by muggers. There has been a lot of research around how mobile phone usage affects children's health. Other countries have already banned phones in schools for these reasons.

However, being contactable in case of emergencies makes mobile phones indispensable as far as parents are concerned. Also in favour of mobile phones, recent research showed that allowing schoolchildren to use mobiles made them feel more engaged with their studies and actually improved standards of education. If teachers and parents work together to outline the best way of incorporating mobile phones in the classroom, they could become useful educational tools in the same way that PCs can be. So perhaps the solution to the mobile phone question is to not have a blanket ban but to find a way that allows phones to be useful without being a distraction. What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.