The Instigator
1harderthanyouthink
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
Tmdog3758
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Should cell phones be banned in schools?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
1harderthanyouthink
Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,715 times Debate No: 62799
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (5)

 

1harderthanyouthink

Con

DO NOT ACCEPT THIS DEBATE. TRYING TO FIX AN UNKNOWN BUG.

Structure:


Round 1: Rules/acceptance
Round 2: Opening arguments (no rebuttals)
Round 3: Arguments & rebuttals
Round 4: More rebuttals & closing (no new information)

Rules:

Burden of proof is shared. I repeat. Burden of proof is shared. Let's not make this a religion debate.
Follow the structure
No personal attacks.

Special clarifications:

In this debate, not only should sources and such be used, but I ask the judges to accept personal experience to a certain point (no more than a paragraph or two per new info round). You should still be citing and using sources for the majority of the debate.

DO NOT ACCEPT THIS DEBATE. If you want to join, say so in the comments. Please don't accept if you are far over the schooling age (13-end of college [for personal experiences over pure opinion, like 55 year old parents who say phones are distractions], whatever that may be for you).
Tmdog3758

Pro

I agree with the terms and am a sophomore debator. Let us make this interesting. I do congress and LD. I accept the challenge and hope to prove cell phones should be banned.
Debate Round No. 1
1harderthanyouthink

Con

According to the Pew Research Internet Project [1], 24% of teens say their schools ban cell phones. Why? Some teachers want to use mobile devices such as tablets as a tool for learning. A good 81%, actually [2]. I think that mobile phones can also be used in place of tablets, as many teens have smartphones.


Schools usually list reasons such as cheating, cyberbullying, terroristic/bomb threat, class disruption, etc. I challenge these common reasons of banning cell phones.


Cheating: If a student is to cheat on his or her assignment, they should be given a 0. Although many teens have used cell phones to cheat in school, banning phones won’t stop them. According to Pew [3], 65% of teens whose schools ban phones still bring them to school every day. That still leaves a lot of room for teens to cheat from the 76% that bring their phones every day to permissive schools.


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Cyberbullying: According to nobullying.com [4], cyberbullying is the least common type of bullying found in schools. And according to Scholastic [5], “experts say banning technology is not the answer” to ending cyberbullying between classmates. So what is the answer? Schools can not regulate the lives of their students outside of school, nor should they. The only possible answer is reliant on the children themselves: they need to take responsibility in shutting out these bullies online.


Classroom disruption: Of course it will happen if there are cell phones in the school. It’s only natural that someone forgot to turn off their ringer and someone calls the wrong number at the wrong time. But if the occasional distraction is enough to ban something, someone should cut out my tongue.


Terrorism/remote detonation threat: If someone is as messed up in the head as Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold not allowing phones isn’t going to stop them. Without advanced phone-based remote detonation technology, the two used 99 explosives in their famous Columbine High School Massacre. There is no true security solution for explosives and terrorism. Banning cell phones is unnecessary.


As we move deeper into the digital age, society is evolving very quickly. So why have schools, the center of kids’ lives for more than 6 hours per day for half the year stayed behind? Here’s how I think we can advance in the digital age in schools:


Digital textbooks: Textbooks tend to be big, and use a lot of paper. They also cost a lot of money. According to Outsell, textbooks will be the cause of 13.7 billion dollars spent in the US this year [6]. Also, education start-up companies such as Kno, who distribute digital textbooks, can give ebooks for as low as 50% of the price of a regular textbook [7]. They also weigh a lot. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, over 13,700 children aged 5-18 are injured each year due to overloaded backpacks [8]. Students also may be more interested when using electronic devices, as Houghton Mifflin, a major textbook producer, tested an interactive, digital version of an Algebra 1 textbook on tablets at the Amelia Earhart Middle School in California's Riverside Unified School District. Students who used tablet ebook scored 20 percent higher on standardized tests than those who used regular textbooks [9].


How can phones be used? Teens usually have their cell phone on them (see: Pew graph) in school. Therefore, their textbook is always with them. A common complaint is that the screen is too small. Not only are phones getting quite bigger, with the iPhone 6 looking giant in comparison to the 4, etc, it is quite easy to increase font size. Apps like the Kindle Reading App [10] allow phones to buy books directly from Amazon to their phone on the app.


In this digital age, we shouldn’t stay with the rhetoric of “phones are dangerous/disruptive/evil” in school. We should embrace this technology.


[1]http://www.pewinternet.org...

[2]http://www.pbs.org...

[3]http://www.pewinternet.org...

[4]http://nobullying.com...

[5]http://www.scholastic.com...

[6]http://www.thedailybeast.com...

[7]https://www.kno.com...

[8]http://consumer.healthday.com...

[9] http://mob.org...

[10]https://www.amazon.com...

Tmdog3758

Pro

As a former New York City public-school teacher, I can tell you that cell phones don't belong in the classroom. A student with a cell phone is an uninterested student, one with a short attention span who cares more about socializing than education.
When I was teaching, all too often I turned around from writing something on the blackboard to find students text-messaging or otherwise playing with their phones.

Come the end of the term, a handful of students would fail the class and far too many would drop out of school. The onus for failure should be placed on distractions in the classroom, specifically cell phones.

Parents think of cell phones as a connection to their children in an emergency. But I wonder what the last situation was that genuinely called for an immediate phone call to a child. In most cases, contacting the hospital or the police would seem more urgent. And parents can always call the school's main office to reach their children.

Cell phones are status symbols for teenagers because when their phone rings while the teacher is talking, everyone laughs. Because playing video games on their cell makes them look cool. Because text messaging their friend in the next room is more fun than learning about topic sentences. So is listening to the new Three 6 Mafia song they just downloaded onto their cell.

And saying students can store their phones in the locker is a joke. If they have cell phones, they're going to bring them to class.
Scholastic

According to the National School Safety and Security Offices (NSSSO), cell phones have been an increasingly negative disruption in schools: """We have opposed policies allowing or encouraging students to have cell phones and pagers in school. On a day-to-day basis, they are disruptive to the educational environment. This also has been the general position of many school districts over the years.”

Adding to this, the NSSSO argues that allowing cell phones for safety reasons is inaccurate. As they explain, """Changing policies under the guise of cell phones being a crisis tool for student safety is, in our opinion, a knee-jerk reaction and is not ‘the answer’ to school crisis preparedness that some may believe it to be.” In fact, oftentimes school and security officials report that students falsely call in bomb threats or reports of threats on their cell phones as an over-reaction or as a prank; in such cases, these cell phones can force the entire evacuation of a school, while also making it nearly impossible for security teams to try and figure out where the call was placed, and which student(s) made the call.

Adding to this, in examining the potential distractions that cell phones pose in schools, """school disruptions can come in a number of forms. Ringing cell phones can disrupt classes and distract students who should be paying attention to their lessons at hand. Text message has been used for cheating. And new cell phones with cameras could be used to take photos of exams, take pictures of students changing clothes in gym locker areas, and so on.”

Ultimately, while phones may provide students with a means for communication and support, schools and community members across the country are struggling to find a common ground and agreement regarding how to best support a positive environment and experience for all learners in the public school. -public school review

We've run many stories on the topic and we receive a fair amount of reader response in which educators (technology-advocating educators, I should add) are either outright against or have really strong reservations about allowing these devices in classrooms. Take a look at a few of the comments we received on a story back in March:

"As middle school administrator, there are continual issues that must be addressed regarding cell phones. Texting, sexting, cheating, and taking photos during class time, to name a few. Also ensuring students have a top of the line phone with app ability is not feasible, especially in these economic times. Please let's not do something more that increases the pressure on all stakeholders."

"I'm sorry, but even my seniors lack the maturity to use the cell phone as the tool it could be. It is merely a distraction because they are tempted to use it for everything except what I've asked them to use it for. (Same thing goes for teachers in a faculty meeting.)"

"Anything that distracts kids is contrary to good pedagogy. Why is there a belief that all technology is desirable? To paraphrase Jurassic Park: Just because we can, does not mean we should."

"What of the added complication of student phones and other electronic devices being stolen from them and/or students being bullied or attacked in order to do so?"

"Cell phones are one of the worst things you can have in school as they enable maladaptive behaviors. [Saying] that this problem is ethical is like the argument that "bullets don't kill people..." Speaking of bullets, yesterday we had a lockdown drill. A cell phone went off as we were hiding. [What's the] protocol for a gunman to not find students?" -the journal

Examples of why. Should ban cell phones
" Students could text answers to their friends.
" They could copy down test questions.
" They could photograph test pages.
" They could put their notes/answers on their phones.
" Kids in class text back and forth making smart alec comments about students and teacher. No one feels comfortable"like they"re being talked about behind their backs.
" Always checking for messages. Constantly engaged in silent off-task conversations.
" Updating pages rather than paying attention.
" Posting class photos without subjects" permission.
" Updating Twitter without censoring content/thoughts.
" Find ways to get around school"s filtering systems.
" Play games.
" Watch YouTube.

I am in high school. I use my iPad mini and my cell phone in class. Iplay games to escape this works. We want to have fun. This effects our grades with low scores. So yes ban cell phones
Debate Round No. 2
1harderthanyouthink

Con

1harderthanyouthink forfeited this round.
Tmdog3758

Pro

Tmdog3758 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1harderthanyouthink

Con

I had forfeited round 3 and asked pro if he wanted to restart our debate. Even if he agrees, I no longer have the intention of doing such thing.

Reason: Pro's argument is plagued by plagiarism.

"A student with a cell phone..." [1]

He ripped the entire "yes" argument from the page.

"According to the National School Safety and Security Offices (NSSSO), cell phones have been an increasingly negative disruption in schools..." [2]

I feel no further obligation to argue on my behalf, as Pro plagiarized at a good portion of his argument. Therefore his arguments should be dismissed.

[1] http://teacher.dev.scholastic.com...
[2] http://www.publicschoolreview.com...;
Tmdog3758

Pro

Please vote for me on this.
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
I should have a working computer by tomorrow, if you'd wish to reset and just copy and paste what arguments we've made and start off at the 3rd round
Posted by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
I would challenge you to a new debate but whenever my computer gets a blue screen it's usually do to overheating, and it's been going into immediate shutdowns a LOT lately, so I think the computer is either completely shot at this point (won't turn on) or it's just being the horrible Acer it is and will be working fine (or as fine as it can be) in a week. Either way it will take too long.
Posted by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
Dude I'm so sorry for forfeiting but my computer had a blue screen and is being a colossal you-know-what.
Posted by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
Wait, your profile says your 15, did you mean "former New York City public school student"?
Posted by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
Oi, the graph didn't work. Here's a link directly to it. http://www.pewinternet.org...
Posted by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
"Don't accept this debate"
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
debatability
if i were you, i would not do this debate in judge voting. (due to this bug you speak of). I may be interested in taking this debate.
Posted by kai11 2 years ago
kai11
am i able to judge at all
Posted by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
@DefineRich Are you serious?
Posted by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
@JohnGentry I invited 10 people to judge the debate but apparently this debate has been affected by an unknown bug.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
1harderthanyouthinkTmdog3758Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct & Arguments to Con. This is due to Pro's choice to be a plagiarizer instead of presenting his own arguments, as well as his lack of both acknowledgement and apology for committing this ill action.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
1harderthanyouthinkTmdog3758Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was caught plagiarizing, did not defend his actions or deny it, and then requested people vote for him... enough said.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 2 years ago
airmax1227
1harderthanyouthinkTmdog3758Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Cons R2 was very well thought out and he made very good opeing arguments. Pros unfortunate plagiarism in the same round pretty much decided this debate, though he would have had his work cut out for him anyway when replying to Cons main contentions. It's a shame we didn't see an attempt to do that. Arguments to con for making the only legitimate arguments. Conduct to Con for Pros plagiarism.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
1harderthanyouthinkTmdog3758Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments and conduct to CON because of PRO's plagiarizing.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
1harderthanyouthinkTmdog3758Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Plagiarism is a conduct violation worthy of a full loss