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Adolescents: Keep The Cell Phones Out Of School

2071 words - 8 pages

Since the inception of the cell phone and its capability for texting, there has been a shift in the civility of adolescent social interaction. Gone are the days of seeing teenagers imaginatively playing together, with the only restriction being his or her ability for self-expression. Virtual conversations, text messages and online social networks have replaced development of social skills through personal interactions. Some educators insist that cell phones provide a unique opportunity to capitalize on the learning experience in the modern classroom. Unfortunately, cell phones also provide an opportunity for adolescents to compromise their ethical and moral standards. Many high school students unscrupulously use cell phones for cheating on exams, disrupting the classroom, and promoting other inappropriate behavior. The distracting characteristics of using cell phones have shown a negative effect on the reading/writing ability of the adolescent and their subsequent readiness for higher learning. School administrators must meet the challenge to balance the right of possession of the devices by adolescents and the monitoring /control of the school environment during a crisis. A school administrator named Patrick Gabriel drives a point home when he says, “The constant use of cell phones, perhaps symbolic of life made virtual by all technology, seems to compound the problem. It has a powerful pull on so many. From my office window, I see students leaving school early or arriving late texting and calling with practically every step they take. The need to stay connected at every moment trumps all other behavior” (38). Educators, parents and students must not ignore the temptation to let the addictive behavior associated with cell phones to dictate the learning environment. The access to cell phones in schools, distract from the learning opportunity and contributes to inappropriate adolescent behavior.
The ability of the adolescent to manipulate data on cell phones has become as advanced as the technology itself. Unfortunately, students are using the cell phone as a receptacle for effortlessly passing test material between peers without being detected. Allowing cell phones in the classroom promotes the unacceptable behavior of cheating. Sarah Sparks from Education Week summarizes a research project initiated at Harvard-Duke as “Participants who had access to the test answers tended to use them. In the first rounds of testing in each scenario, mean scores were significantly higher among students who could sneak a peek at the answers. That fits with previous studies showing that, all else being equal, a majority of those who can cheat, do” (1-16). Removing cell phones from the classroom removes one of the conditions (opportunity) for cheating from the student. Testing results should illuminate the student’s mastery of the subject material, not their cleverness.
The misuse of cell phones by students has escalated other ethically questionable...

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