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Embrace Cellphones in Your Classroom

The cellphone-in-class debate is not new, and several schools across the US have prohibited their use during class. Teachers and school administrators have maintained that having cell phones in the classroom is bad because they are a distraction. Furthermore, some learners misuse the devices by cheating on exams and cyber-bully their classmates.

However, the debate is ongoing, with supporters citing several benefits of having cell phones in the classroom. These benefits include developing technological skills in kids, fostering collaboration in class, making administrative tasks easier, and making the learning environment sustainable.

Are you wondering whether to allow your students to bring smartphones to class? Here are reasons why you should embrace cell phones in your classroom.

Promote Ecological Sustainability

Most sectors have shifted from the traditional pen and paper way of doing things to digital file sharing, digital signatures, and online collaborations. Before the technological era, there was a lot of printing which led to many papers, books, journals, etc. When these paper-made items become old, they accumulate on shelves and end up in our environment as waste.

The positive thing about cell phones in class is that you can share lectures, course materials, notes, assessments, tests, and assignments as digital files. You save time and money used in printing several copies for each student. There is less printing, ink, and paper use, which creates ecological sustainability.

Instill Technological Literacy in Learners

Most schools use school-owned tablets and laptops to teach younger children how to operate technological gadgets. At the end of the day or learning session, the learners return the devices to the administration and go home.

If these kids bring their smartphones to class, the learning process will be more straightforward for several reasons. They will use a familiar gadget and learn faster because they know where to press, tap, etc. Moreover, they can continue the learning process at home with the help of older siblings and parents.

The acquired technological skills prepare the learners for the workplace, where most activities are digitized. They will have an easy time with productivity tools, collaboration apps, time management software, etc.

Facilitates Better Communication

Can you survive a day without your phone? No? You'd probably be worried about a missed call from a loved one, an unread email, missed appointments, deliveries, etc. Allowing learners to bring phones to class creates safety because they can communicate with their parents and guardians.

Besides safety, having cell phones in the classroom creates valuable communication channels between teachers, parents, and learners. There are numerous discussion tools and apps that learners can download and use to work on group work projects or communicate with peers after school hours.

Additionally, you can use apps to create, mark, and grade students' assignments and test their comprehension of a topic at the end of the lesson.

Provides Flexibility and Convenience

Cell phones only distract learners if they do irrelevant things during the learning session. These gadgets are excellent and more convenient learning tools than the traditional pen and notebook. If it's taking notes during a class, the device has a digital note-taking app where students can write key points.

When you give the students some homework, they can use the cellphone camera to take pictures of the text or go to the library and take images of resource pages. This reduces the number of books they must carry from school to work on homework at home. Mobile devices make learning more flexible and convenient for both teachers and students.

Increases Access to Information

When you are teaching a class and students keep raising their hands to ask questions, it might inconvenience your time and how you've planned your lesson. If these learners have a smartphone in class, they can look up the definition of a new word or research something about the topic without interrupting your lesson.

Students can also use their cell phones for research when tackling a research project or group work. The key is to help learners use their cellphone appropriately to avoid distractions such as Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

Final Thoughts

There is a need for teachers and school administrators to embrace cell phones in the classrooms. When students use these devices appropriately, they become learning tools, leverage the course materials, and provide a satisfying and sustainable learning environment. So, will you embrace cell phones in your classroom this year?

Written by Steve Ndar
Education World Contributor
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