By: Ana Garibaldi
As teenagers, our phones have become an essential part of our life. We use them at any free moment we can because it contains all of the information we would ever need in a very convenient and portable way. The world around us is evolving very fast and new technological advances are occurring every day. With this new change the world has to update to keep up. This includes schools that are slowly updating to get the most of this technology for learning.
Seneca Valley High School recently made the change to using Google for a way of doing and giving out assignments. Students are able to complete and turn in an assignments using their phones and the Google Classroom app. Many teachers also like using apps like Kahoot as a way to make learning fun and engaging. For some, using phones can be an extremely beneficial way to enhance their learning and understanding.
However, consequences come with using phones since information is too easy to access or share. Students might not be retaining the work that they are robotically copying down the answers that their friends sent them. Teachers trust that students are being honest about their work and that it was done by that person. Students have also formed the habit of taking pictures of notes that they may or may not come back to later on. Either way the student is not taking the time to actually learn the information and this usually comes back to bite them when there are quizzes and tests.
With these problems some teachers have decided to take measures into their own hands to ensure that their students are fully engaged during their lesson. The English department recently purchased “Yondr Bags,” which are pouches big enough to put a phone in and that lock. They can only be unlocked by a machine in the English department. The idea being that the student is able to keep their phone because that is their property, but they were locked in this pouch in order to reduce the distraction. One English teacher commented that the idea of the Yondr Bag is good, however it has yet to be well executed. Each teacher only has four of these Yondr Bags, which is enough to use in extreme cases. This teacher said that it would be better to have a class set of the Yondr Bags so that each student could put their phone in, but still keep with them.
Other teachers have decided to buy a phone tree and require that all students put their phone in their particular number at the beginning of class. A couple of history teachers use brown paper bags that will be stapled shut if a student can’t get off their phones.
Of the teachers that I spoke to, they were split on whether phones are okay in class. One teacher claimed that it depended on their class. She felt more inclined to have a no phone policy in classes that had mainly underclassmen because of their age they are not able to multitask like many claim.
Right now, cell phone policy changes from teacher to teacher. Most teachers either believe cell phones are a distraction, helpful, or feel neutral towards the subject.