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Times are changing. Everybody is connected now, thanks in large part to the Internet and mobile devices like cell phones. This fast connectivity has its advantages and disadvantages, and there's a fine line between them when it comes to young people. They are still in school and parents and teachers are asking the same question: should cell phones be allowed in school?
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Disadvantages of Mobile Phones in School
Initially, the use of cell phones in school sounds highly unacceptable. It can be considered as an extremely serious distraction for students. Aside from the fact that students can use cell phones to call their friends while in class, they can also access the Internet. With smartphones starting to be readily available to more and more people, there's a big chance that students can go on social networks, play mobile games, chat, shop, browse websites, listen to music and watch videos all while they're in school.
Then there are the really serious and scary reasons why it's a bad idea to let students use cell phones in schools. Cheating is a very big concern for teachers when it comes to students bringing cell phones to class. It's easy for students to exchange messages without the teacher knowing. It's the new passing of notes shenanigans in class rooms. Secretly recording videos of teachers or other students is another concern. These videos are often embarrassing and may even be the cause for educators to lose their job or dignity.
Cell phones can also be used in illegal activities, which makes the presence of mobile devices in school a really scary thought. Cell phones can be utilized for something small, like organizing a school yard fight, to something downright scary like drug deals and terrorist attacks. This is the reality everyone has to face in the presence of cell phones in class rooms.
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Advantages of Mobile Phones in School
Let us not forget that mobile devices do have a lot of positive uses in a school environment. Cell phones can serve as a connection between students and their parents. Taking photos of class presentations or projects and sending them to their parents will give students the affirmation they deserve even if they're not physically with their parents.
Sharing notes with classmates can be easier too with mobile technology present. Missed assignments and notes will be a thing of the past. Communicating with classmates with the help of cell phones can increase productivity and can foster a collaborative environment. The multimedia content that can be accessed through cell phones can also help students relax if they use it outside class hours. For every reason to keep a student from bringing a cell phone to school, there's an equally logical reason to believe that bringing a cell phone to school is a wise idea.
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Mobile Phones in School
Should cell phones be allowed in school? The simple answer is yes, but with limitations. It is obvious that mobile phones can be great tools in learning and connecting, but only if we keep the destructive potential in check. School administrators should enter into an agreement with teachers, parents and students about limited cell phone use. This could mean students are not allowed to use cell phones while classes are going on unless their teacher says otherwise. All parties involved should talk about what works for them and what doesn't. It's time to have an open conversation about this new type of communication. Times are changing.