Computer Apps Topic

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An argument for banning cell phones.

Greetings, I have decided to take the devil’s advocate point of view on this topic. Please feel free to disagree with me about my opinion. However, you must do this in a non profane manner and back up your arguments.  I feel that cell phones are a distraction in the school setting. Being a kid of the 1970’s and 1980’s, we didn’t have to deal with the cell phone issue. They simply weren’t invented yet. The ones that were available ran into the thousands and were about the size of your head. brick cell phone

However, in today’s society we have phones that are capable of text, have cameras, internet access through wifi, video, etc. This is where it starts to get a bit complicated. Many students have used the picture or video function to demean or hurt others. There have been numerous stories of students who capture violence in the school and post it to video sharing sites such as Youtube. Herein is where we run into the problem of cyberbullying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-bullying

Photos taken in school have been used to cyberbully students. Many of these pictures capture their subjects in embarrasing or compromising situations, or the author of the pictures has edited the picture to ridicule its subject. Technology is a wonderful tool for everybody. However, in these types of situations technology was used not for assistance or advancement but for the sole purpose of distraction and abuse.

Probably my most emphatic argument for banning cell phone usage in schools is the perceived urgency that people have. How did we survive all of these years without a cellphone? It was called the office phone. If a parent needed to reach their child in an emergency, this was how it was done. If the emergency warranted it, either somebody in administration or office staff would find the student and excuse them to call home or leave campus. What are we to make of those who feel it is their right to disrupt class with cell phones. I recently spoke with a colleague in another state who mentioned that his school had adopted the same rule after many instances where students were ordering Pizza in class or speaking on the phones during a lecture. Call it a pet peeve of mine, but I feel that when I am trying to teach, you the student should be either participating in the conversation or listening. You never know when I might spring a quiz on you. Finally, we turn to texting. For many, this has replaced the traditional passing of notes. You remember these, they went something like, “Do you like me? Check the box for yes.” While socializing is an important part of your school experience, lets never lose sight of the reason you are here; to learn. I recently spoke with a young lady who was unable to particpate in sports at her school because she required carpal tunnel surgery on her wrist. Was it racquet sports, softball or lacrosse that caused this injury? Nope, it was non-stop texting, much of which took place at school.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2008/07/29/texting-injuries-hit-teens-91466-21421237/

So, where do you stand in this discussion, For or against? Should schools enact a zero-tolerance policy or should it be amended to include instances when cell phones should be permitted during the school day?

This is an ongoing debate and some schools have taken up the cause that schools should embrace the technology. I leave you with this article and invite your comments.

http://www.nysun.com/new-york/despite-school-cell-phone-ban-course-sees-them-as/76504/

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9 Comments on “Computer Apps Topic”

  1. Chelsy says:

    i like this blog i totally agree with you. i think that people should only be able to use there phones for certain things.

  2. tdub7 says:

    This is Tucker. I agree with your view on cellphones in that they can be a distraction in school. But I also think that they can be very handy in certain situations and emergencies. they are definatly a clever invention but some models are extremly excessive. All in all they make our society faster.

  3. cmmclean says:

    I definately agree that the cell phones in school are a big distraction, and this is coming from someone who does have a cell phone so I’m not saying it because I don’t have one. I don’t disagree with the rules at our school at all, I just wish the teachers could wait until the end of class to deal with the issue, instead of stopping right in the middle of a lesson to take some kids phone. It is distracting to us as students who are trying to learn. How hard would it be to just jot down the students name with the phone and speak with them after class, and not so everyone has to listen to the lecture, and the arguement about the phone. It isn’t fair to us as students who want to learn. And the only other thing I would change is that we could use our phones before 8 o’clock before the first bell rings. That is a students free time, and itf they wish to talk on the phone, then why not let them? They aren’t disrupting class, it’s before school, and some students get dropped off as early as 7:15, so if they want to use their phones before first bell, I think they should be able to.

  4. mrmooney says:

    Good arguments by both of the above mentioned commentators. I agree with the idea of waiting until the end of class. I will often just ask students, “Please put that away or I will be forced to seize it until the end of the day.” Most students have complied with this and that is the end of the conversation. As for the timing issue, I think it was written this day to eliminate any confusion. Basically, School Property=No cell phones. If we leave it to the discretion of the teachers then it becomes an issue where students take advantage of an opportunity. I have allowed the use of headphones in my classes for them to listen to their ipod or a cd. I have requested that students not use streaming music sites because of the drag on the network speed. Even with this request, I can easily find at least 3-4 students per class who engage in using the streaming music (Aol Music, Yahoo Music, etc.) Its not a question of them listening to music, I encourage that, its the decision to just use the streaming sites after you have been asked not to, that shows disrespect.

  5. jvart1 says:

    I agree with not allowing the use of cell phones in school. But I do believe a zero-tolerance policy would be a bad idea because cell phones do hold some conveniences that are helpful in certain situations. Not only do cell phones come in handy during emergencies, but they are handy if you need to check the time, date or other non-distracting activities. I think the current rule regarding cell phones is too strict, and should only be taken away when the student does something distracting and not just when they have it out in plain view. Jordan

  6. ahhhgro says:

    ^this

    They can be distracting even when used by others in class, having to listen to the clacking of those keys can be maddening after a while as they can make quite a bit of noise depending on the phone. As most of the problem lies with texting I believe that those found texting should be the one who must relinquish their phones to teachers, otherwise approved use of a cell in class in a productive manner as J said should be fine.

  7. cbright7 says:

    I dont really agree with the entire argument. I do agree with the fact that people not be useing their cell phones during class or a lecture, but i feel that it is doing no harm to have them out ion the hall way or during lunch or study hall. I understand that it is hard to monitor and control, but the picture taking should be banned in school. What kids decide to take pictures of outside of school does not fall under the school’s responsibility to manage. However, if kids are using their cameras to “cyberbully” during school, then there should at least be some attempt to restrict that. Just my thoughts

    Casey Brighton

    • mrmooney says:

      The issue for me, is really respect. If the student(s) who utilize their cell phones in a courteous, responsible manner can prove their usefulness, then it is time to relax the rules on them. However, you will have students who tend to take advantage of the privilege by engaging in cyber bullying and cheating. As for lunch, I can agree with your stance, but the study halls need to remain a cell free zone.