Cell phones subtly distract students

Ian Paul and Jackson Howell, Intro to Journalism

There are two sides to the issue of cell phones in class and we are against it completely. Cellphones are both a distraction and anger inducing to teachers. Some people would say that cell phones are helpful and can be used to help a class learn more. Well we would say that is wrong. We have heard many a time music being played way to loudly at the back of a class. When a class is given the ability to choose weather to work or mess around, nine times out of ten messing around will be the only thing that is done. In English classes we have observed phones in people’s laps like it would cure cancer. That day we were given time to either write and finish an essay or have a free time like study hall. But the only thing that was really done was the students messed around on their phones. The result of this “study hall” was that very few people actually turned in the work.

It is the opinion of the oppositional argument that cellphones are in fact not a distraction but a help to the learning environment. They say that cellphones can be used as calculators or mobile dictionaries. This is completely true, but that means they can also be used to  cheat on a test or another form of exam/assignment. It is literally as easy as clicking a button. Apps now can be set up to take a picture of a math problem and then solve it while showing the work. This is a very easy way to cheat your way through high school.

In life you can’t just pull up an app and fill out a tax form, or do your college theses for you. A doctor doesn’t open his phone and use an app to diagnose you. He or she uses the vast knowledge acquired from years in medical school. You can’t get through life on your phone.

While cell phones can be used to cheat, they can also be an immense distraction. We have observed classrooms full of screens and the teacher can’t teach the lesson.

We agree that the cellphone is a powerful, useful and amazing tool but only when it isn’t being abused. Not utilizing it properly is not only wasting the time of the student but also the time of the teacher. The argument made against this is that the students themselves should decide their own commitment. The involved will work hard and provide great results on terms compromised with teacher terms, and the slothful will plummet into poor academic achieving. We respect the opposition’s opinion but we humbly insist that when too much freedom is given, responsibility is unbalanced because of this fact: sometimes, unlikable actions have to be committed for the greater good. Sometimes the distraction of cell phone can be too much to the point of addiction. Their are are people in modern society who seek meditation camps where they are parted from their sacred technology for months to appreciate the world around them in the absence of technology.

The point we make is that any student could have the potential to succeed in school yet maybe some will need the extra push. Our generation doesn’t completely comprehend how much of a social impact the now-common cellular phone has made on our environment as human beings. We can easily be plummeted down a technological rabbit hole everyday. Learning is a delicate process, it’s importance lying in a student’s respect and thirst for the knowledge communicated towards them.

This is best exemplified in a study mentioned in an article on Comm Currents by Jeffrey H. Kuznekoff, an Assistant Professor of Communication in the Department of Integrative Studies at Miami University Middletown in Middletown, OH, USA. The study involved students in attendance at a lecture that the students had listened to. The study was on the student taking a free-recall test, the sole purpose of which was to recall information they heard in the lecture.

And the data was, according to Kuznekoff, “Students who did not use their phones scored 70 percent higher than students who were responding to unrelated messages and 53 percent higher than students creating tweets unrelated to class content. The group that responded to text messages related to the lecture scored 68 percent higher than the group responding to text messages unrelated to the class lecture.”

So in conclusion, whenever a great innovation is created such as nuclear energy or the automobile, there is good and bad involved. As long as the two elements are balanced and the bad never overshadows the good, we will keep using these innovations. So the solution should not be destroying the phone, but rather controlling its effect on the student populace.