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Should Cell Phones Be Banned In The Classroom?

1485 words - 6 pages

David Strayer and William Johnston, Professors from the Department of Psychology, University of Utah, have demonstrated the detrimental effects of cell phone use while behind the steering wheel; unquestionably, this is a dangerous habit and is rightfully banned in nations all over the world. However, should the same restriction be imposed in regards to using cell phones in classrooms? Opinions definitely vary. Taking deep consideration of all factors involved, having a cell phone in class when the educator is trying to pass on knowledge to students can block the learning process because it causes distractions. However, using cell phones as learning tools rather than banning cell phone use completely from classrooms will not only allow students the opportunity improve their educational experience but also will limit the number distractions caused by cell phones.
According to The National School Safety and Security Services, an Ohio-based national school consulting firm that provides services across the United States, people have been particularly alert after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US. For that reason, in light of national tragedies, parents wish their children to carry cell phones with them at school as a means of having direct communication should an emergency occur. Parents also want to be reassured their children are safe to and from school. However, is carrying a cell phone at school the same as using it in class? Definitely not. Students are now abusing cell phones by texting and playing games in the classroom rather than completing class assignments. Consequently, it causes distractions to not only the students but also the instructor in the classroom.
The most prevailing reason for banning cell phones in class is because they are “disruptive to the educational environment” (The National School Safety and Security Services). Professor Strayer and Johnston have concluded that any cell phone conversation, or even the ring of the cell phone, is enough to disrupt any task performance and cause the student to have to decide whether or not to answer the phone or turn it off. Any conversation or answer to a texted message requires the voluntary attention control processes of student to be shifted to the phone and removed from the subject being taught in the classroom. For example, much like how a driver is unable to text and drive, a student is unable to focus on the teacher and the phone at the same time. So, it is obvious that when people try to focus on a specific task, for example paying attention to a lecture, the use or ringing of the cell phone will make them turn their mind away from their primary goal and focus on something else, setting back their learning process. We may live in a world where task switching and multi-tasking is required to cope with the increased responsibilities. However, switching between cognitive tasks has not yet proven to be an effective learning method. As a matter of fact, Stephen Monsell, a...

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