June 28, 2009

Cell Phones in Schools, the New Crib Notes

One-third of teenagers say they use cell phones to boost their grades, and one-half say they use the Internet to cheat. And nearly 1 in 4 teenagers think it's not cheating!

This makes me feel more strongly that schools need to be allowed to use cell phone blockers in the classrooms. One reason I have heard they are not allowed is because parents argue that they need to be able to communicate with their children, especially during an emergency. Cell phone blockers are easily deactivated if there truly is an emergency. And, if parents want to contact their children at school, they need to go through the office (and they should NEVER be texting their children DURING class). Parents could also *gasp* leave their children messages that could be checked IN BETWEEN class periods.

It's not just about cheating. Cell phones are a major distraction in the classroom, as students feel their phones vibrate and are tempted to read and respond to text messages, all the while missing out on instruction and learning. It's like trying to teach students with a television in the corner of the room tuned into MTV.

Take the temptation away so students are not so focused on their cell phones. Sure, they may find some other reason to not pay attention, but it's one less distraction, and a major one at that.