Cellphones in SchoolWhy are cellphones not allowed in school? I think it's kind of dumb that we are not allowed to use them during study halls or our down time.

31 Answers

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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As others have said, this is not a blanket policy, and, when used appropriately, cellphones can be useful in the classroom. I have had students photograph a brainstorm from the whiteboard to help with homework and used video to help critique speeches. The key is discipline. Paper and pens certainly weren't banned when I was a student, and I spent all of my maths lessons writing notes to friends!

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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At my school, we used to allow student cell phone use during lunch and between classes. It only took one student to change the policy. That student took a photo of himself undressed in the locker room and sent it to another student's phone during lunch, and the principal saw the picture. Instant rule change.


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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are also some schools that are pretty worried about the use of cell phones to take pictures.  They worry about them being used in locker rooms and such.  They worry that the school would then be liable for allowing their use.

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I agree that students should be allowed to use cellphones in hallways and during free time, and I taught at a school where that was allowed. Students, however, seem to associate class time with down time, and it was a constant battle to keep them from being used during class. 

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dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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A couple of years ago a student of mine was taking an exam. She had her cell phone in her lap and she was texting the questions to a friend. When I asked her what she was doing she replied "asking my grandma for a cake recipe". I had to laugh.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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At my school, students can use technology freely:  cell phones in the classroom, iPads, any kind of technology.  Many teachers were sceptical at first, but I really enjoy the freedom and sense of 'adult-responsibility' that it gives the students.  Students using the phones inappropriately in class is rarely a problem, as they perceive their usage as a privilege and respect the guidelines for usage. 

I love the fact that the students can put their headphones on when they are working independently (they're only allowed to keep in one earbud so they can still hear the teacher if needed).  For many of my students getting to listen to music in class off their iPhone helps them block out other distractions. 

This was the first year for my campus to go to an 'open technology' policy, but it has been relatively trouble-free and the benefits have definitely outweighed the negatives. 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I agree that cell phone should be allowed to be used during school class breaks and lunch, etc., and I believe most schools do allow this these days. However, the addictive power that cell phones have on teens causes many kids to abuse the rule and sneak calls and texts during class. I've seen it in high schools as well as college classrooms, and most teachers have experienced a ringing cell during class--a disruptive experience, to be sure. If students would faithfully follow the rules of most schools concerning this, there would be no problem.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Some schools will allow them in study hall or at breaks. The problem is that if you can use the phone then, you have it with you. If you have if with you, you might use it during school to cheat on a test or mess around texting or playing on Facebook. Since there's no way to really control phone usage and limit it to certain times, many schools just tell students to leave the phones at home. (Not that they do.)
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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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As long as cellphones don't interfere with the actual process of education they should be allowed. To completely ban cellphones is to work against an overwhelming force, I think.  A full-on ban is going to inspire rebellion. Isn't it?

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thewanderlust878 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 3) Salutatorian

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As a young teen it does seem stupid to not be able to use a cell phone during class. However, once you are older you will realize what the administration, faculty, and other decision-makers were trying to do for you (it may seem a bit silly to hear this, and I'm sure you've heard it before, but bear with me). It seems to me that the main reason why schools make cell phone policies is to not only keep distractions at bay, but to also help the students make better life choices and to help keep them from spending hours upon hours on their phones per day. A majority of cell phones users have smartphones today, and that provides students with instant access to social media and the internet in general, which could form bad technology using habits. 

Hope this helps!

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crystaltu001 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Cellphones are allowed but it just can not be used during class and when there is something important happening in school because it can cause a distraction and distract others from doing their work. We can use cellphones when we are on breaks or during lunch in school.

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nikitasingh | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

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yah as long as cellphone usage does not interfere with the class and study timings it should be allowed  . but there is no garauntee that the the student may or may not use for wrong stuff like cheating and all it can be allowed but better if may not allowed.


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kerifyahjawn | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

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In reply to #1:  Most schools do allow phones for students to use but most school dont and some students take advatge of  it

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ramlakshmi | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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Cell phones are like mischievous children.Highly irritating when they are others':wonderful when they are yours.C-phones  have more nuissance value than news-sense value.It is mainly for this reason that they are banned in many educational institutions. 

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caleber96 | (Level 1) Honors

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The integration of technology is a goal at many schools. However, the embracement of new technology needs to go beyond computers and into tablet devices in order to deliver a new, "revolutionary" (or is this now clinché?) experience. Perhaps smartphones could also be integrated into classrooms, and their use should be encouraged for educational purposes

Why not take notes with it? Why not take a picture of the blackboard? These are tasks that the smartphones is suited to. And now to address the eternal problem of distraction: As long as someone's frivolous smartphone use isn't disturbing others or (significantly?) impeding the class, then why bother? It's ultimately THEIR future. Or should we be a more "caring" and "supportive?" I don't know. 

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