Computer Apps TopicPosted: May 8, 2009
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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.
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.
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.
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.