Monitoring cell phone usage during a classroom is a topic for discussion among teachers. Some teachers are very strict with "the no phones in class" aspect of the debate, while others understand that cell phones are an essential part of today's classroom culture. However, if it is left unmonitored, cell phones can disrupt a classroom session.
Here are some innovative ideas that would help teachers manage cell phones in a classroom:
Cell phones for the safety of students
Several schools allow students to use cell phones in the classroom for safety purposes. At the same time, phones are not only instruments that serve during emergencies; they can also be valuable instruments in the classroom. If a student does not understand a particular word or concept, the student can immediately access the right information. Phones are of value for making calculations as well as conducting spelling and grammar checks. Students can communicate with one another and subject matter experts using a cell phone. In a way, cell phones help teachers in improving the skills of students. However, every teacher must be able to make the judgment if the benefits of using cell phones in the classroom outweigh the distractions they cause.
The adverse effects of using cell phones in the classroom
Often teachers will tell you that cell phones harm learning in the classroom. There is enough evidence from research to back that up. Students usually keep checking their devices, replying to texts & messages on social networks. Multitasking, shifting between multiple screens, these factors affect a student's capability to learn.
Students can be extremely susceptible to the types of distractions smartphones provide; they could be watching a movie, listening to music. Students are putting themselves at a significant disadvantage when they engage with their mobile devices in a classroom. They should instead engage with what is going on in the classroom.
Teachers have a solution
Teachers believe students have to proactively learn to manage their cell phones in the classroom effectively; students can turn off their phones or put them in airplane mode. Teachers are always around to support the students in the best possible manner. E.g., implementing a phone storage system in the classroom, wherein students are needed to place their devices in a box with their name on it when they enter a classroom. Teachers must also explain to the students the rationale behind such a classroom policy. Such innovative ideas by teachers can be a game-changer in the classroom. Initially, students may resist such an initiative. However, once their academic performance improves, they would appreciate the time away from their phones and gradually get used to it. The use of cell phones in schools is going to stay, so effectively managing them would be a valuable skill for students to learn.