The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Cell Phones Should be Allowed in Schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,965 times Debate No: 31886
Debate Rounds (3)
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I will arguing pro for the topic of phones being allowed in schools.

Using a cell phone correctly can bring benefits to both the child and their learning throughout school. It can be used for researching, learning aids through the use of educational applications, and a planner to keep important dates and store notes. It also provides internet connection for convenience on studying.

A mobile phone can also be used as communication to others outside of school for emergencies such as assignments being left at home or for the use of calling parents for important meetings such as dentist. As well as that, it can also hold important contact information.

The use of a phone for a child can teach them from a whole range of responsibilities by being helping them become organised and prepared for the digital world and citizenship.






I negate the resolution, "Resolved; Cell phones should be allowed in schools." I will lay out my contentions in this post, before offering refutations to my opponent's contentions in my second post and further refutations and final statements in my third round post.

The biggest issue dealing with cell phones/"smartphones" in the classroom is that they distract students, which is a very common problem. A study from the University of Haifa in Israel [1] found that 60 percent of high school students used their cell phones in the classroom for accessing non-educational sites such as Facebook and tasks like sending an email. This clearly is a distraction, and detracts from the educational experience. Several teachers [2] [3] [4] are on record as stating that cell phones provide distraction in the classroom and should be removed. Students can still communicate with teachers with school-provided phones, should the need present itself. The Pew Internet and American Life Project found [5] that thirty-one percent of students send or receive a text every day during class time, and that twelve percent of students make or receive a call on their cell phones often in class. Clearly, cell phones are a major vehicle for distraction in the classroom.

For these reasons, I urge a ballot in negation of this resolution.

Sources: [1]
Debate Round No. 1


Even though cell phones may provide a distraction, it depends on how it's used from each student. A phone is no different to any item/equipment used to enhance learning from education. For example, calculators, rulers, pens can provide a distraction to students by playing with them, but it shouldn't be banned because it can be used as a distraction but at the same time it can also be beneficial. Phones offer a variety of benefits if used correctly and can be a valuable asset to education for it's technology. Removing phones generally puts students who intend to use it for it's educational purposes at a disadvantage.

On another point, there's no stopping for parents/teachers to block distracting websites if concerned with learning, as they do with most computers at school. Also, asking to put student's phones away or take it from their possession can minimise distractions without the ban of phones.


I would like to thank my opponent for his contentions and for starting this debate.

My opponent has been pressing this point that cell phones can be used for educational purposes that benefit the student. This is true--cell phones can be used for this--but the problem is not that can be used for distraction, it's that they are widely used for distraction, an effect that is--and has been--observable. My opponent points to objects, such as calculators and rulers, that can also be used for distraction, but there is a key difference between rulers and cell phones; rulers are meant to measure objects and have a primary purpose centering around education, while cell phones have a primary purpose of distraction. This undermines the bulk of what my opponent has been pressing--yes, it can be used for good, but that's not simply not the case in real life and that is not the cell phone's purpose. In that case, why should we allow something that only provides distractions, and can be simply be replaced with items provided by the school, that are meant primarily for education?

Look at the sides in this debate. On the affirmation, we have allowance of a device that offers distraction and no large benefits for the student. On the negation, however, we cut out a device that inhibits students and allows for better education and student productivity--which not only benefits the student, but society as a whole. For these reasons, I urge you to vote in favor of the negation, of "Con".
Debate Round No. 2


The-Red-Outlaw forfeited this round.


I would like to thank my opponent for presenting his arguments and for starting this debate.

Let us note the key points of this debate. On the affirmation, we have that cell phones can be used for educational purposes and for communicating if need be. On the negation, we have hard evidence that this is to the contrary, and that cell phones are actually used for distraction. This point has remained standing this entire round. The contentions run by my opponent are undermined by several factors, such as the fact that cell phones can be replaced by things such as pen and paper for taking notes, and that almost all schools already provide phones for use for students. My opponent attempted to advance the notion that items like rulers can be used for distraction, but this too is flawed, as the phone's sole purpose is distraction--which it succeeds at handily.

In conclusion, this debate goes to the negation as the negation has provided solid fact showing that the phone is a common source of distraction, while the affirmation has only provided that "cell phones can be used for educational purposes". Obviously, hard fact outweighs a minor possibility that is not backed by any evidence. You must look to the negation, as the negation has used hard fact and has all points standing, while the affirmation has his points falling. Vote Con. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
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