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Debate #6- All educators have had an issue with cell phones at some point, but should they be banned?

I am not going to lie, cell phones in the classroom have been a thorn in my side since I began my teaching career.  Every year begins the same way, with maybe 3-4 students in my class who own cell phones.  I outline the classroom rules, and expectations for cellphone usage, and it goes relatively well for the first few months.  However, after every birthday or holiday, more and more students have a cellphone, and then they are addicted to the device.  This is when I begin having major issues with cellphones.  Before I know it, they whole class owns one and we need to repeat the class rules and expectations almost daily.  When I signed up for this debate, I was thinking how difficult it would be to be a proponent and debate on the side of embracing cellphone usage and utilizing them because of the frustrations it has caused in my classroom.  Once my group and I began the research, a whole world of possibilities and reasonings as to why cellphones should be embraced in the classroom altered my opinion.

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We are living in an age where most people own a cellphone and it is a part of their everyday lives.  No matter what rules schools or classes have, students will always find a way to bend or break the rules on this issue.  The potential a cellphone has in a class setting is forever changing with new, innovative ways to utilize in the classroom setting.  The research for this debate has altered my approach to this issue, and I want to use many of the free resources for augmented and virtual reality, like Google Expeditions, Unimersiv, and CBC VR.  The idea of going on a “field trip” to see the wonders of the world, or all the opportunities educators could use for teaching science are endless. 

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The panic and fear caregivers have when it comes to sending their child to school, due to the tragedies that have occurred south of our boarder for the past couple decades is understandable.  Students who own a cell phone provide a sense of safety, and a communication tool for caregivers to check in on their child to ensure they are safe.

Katia brought up a valid point about students who do not own a cell phone, and if an educator has a “cell phone hotel” and all the spaces are filled with the exception of one or two students, it could cause a sense of embarrassment or have other students think differently of them.  As an educator and father, this tears me up inside to know that some may feel left out if they do not own a phone, or if their family may not be able to afford one.  Valid reasons such as this have me believe cellphones do not have a place in the school, but the pros outweigh the negatives on this issue in my opinion.  Therefore, cellphones should not be banned from schools.


4 responses to “Debate #6- All educators have had an issue with cell phones at some point, but should they be banned?”

  1. Hi Reid. Thanks for presenting your thoughts and feelings on ban of cellphones in the classrooms.

    There are large number of educational apps available in both Android and Apple phones and students can learn a lot from these games. But on the other side cell phones have the potential to be a source of distraction in classrooms. These days, new cell phones with cameras might also be used to photograph tests, kids changing their clothing in gym locker rooms, and so on.


  2. Great post Reid. There are many benefits to using tech/cell phones in the classroom. Often, if we embrace them rather than taking them away and punishing students for using them, we can create a better, more trusting space. I still don’t allow them in my room (they have to keep them in their backpacks) but my students have access to every ed app they need on their laptops. If I didn’t have 1:1, then the cells would be out to help benefit their education. Great post! Almost done!!


  3. Interesting post Reid !! I also feel that banning cell phones would be too harsh. I believe that when we model responsible use, come up with a plan with our school team, and empower our students to use their devices for good, then we can see a lasting positive impact of cellphone use in the classroom.


  4. Debate 6 in equity and digital access in Canada debate eight I agree in Canada is there too much digital digital access even those in a large or marginalized poor family population there are people and places still using Internet with electronics I agree there is a degree of health impacts and concerns for example distractions or great concern for elementary students with too much electronic Internet use listen turn creates issues of isolation and this also leads to lack of outdoor physical activity for elementary students I witnessed this behavior with my 6 year old grandson and five year old granddaughter I also agree with the disagree side because the areas of flexibility small groups time and fewer distractions are key to adult learning on line I can’t say for children because I’m not I did not see this first hand there is also a comment or discussion regarding responsibility is reactive there needs to be security on security for online interaction new to the lack of control and on line pollution parents need to have clear information regarding release forms for Internet access the information is unknown and needs to be better defined


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