Can Cellphones be Used for Educational Purposes?

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In the current era, having a cellphone is the social norm for teenagers in high school. In a Pew Research study from 2009, 75% of teens had cellphones and were actively using them. Cellphones have come a long way from when they were first introduced. They are no longer used only for mobile calling and text messaging, but for all the apps and internet browsing uses that come with it. With cellphones being the equivalent of a small portable computer, they can have educational purposes, so why are schools so against them? Pew Research has shown that “65% of cell-owning teens, at schools that completely ban phones, bring their phones to school every day.” so why shouldn’t schools take advantage of this instead?

Anne Arundel County Maryland has recently decided to lift the restrictive ban on cellphones so that teachers and students can begin to use their phones in class for educational purposes. The school spokesman, Bob Mosier, said that “we were living in a policy age where we weren’t allowing cellphones at all, and technically we were supposed to take them from students and bag them and tag them, and those kinds of things. That’s not the reality of 2015”. So if the kids are bringing them in anyways, why waste an educational opportunity?

The Board of Education for Harford County put out a mission statement on the discussion of allowing cellphones, stating that they would like cellphones to “Create an active and dynamic learning environment using cutting-edge, on-demand content and seamless access to digital tools that will inspire all learners.” This poses the question of equal learning opportunities, what about the kids without cellphones? Well surely in our age of technology there will be something for those students to use. More and more schools are introducing tablets and other more small manageable devices for students to use.

Overall it seems like a plus for students to have an extra educational opportunity, if they’re going to be using their cellphones anyways.

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Can Cellphones be Used for Educational Purposes?