The Instigator
TheBritishEmber
Con (against)
The Contender
dipper
Pro (for)

Should phones be allowed at school (during class)?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/18/2017 Category: Education
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 525 times Debate No: 101125
Debate Rounds (3)
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TheBritishEmber

Con

Students should not be allowed to have phones out during their classes at school. It can be used at a way of cheating, a distraction, a disruption, and possibly cyber bullying.

More than a third of teens admit to using cell phones to cheat.
" The poll, conducted by The Benenson Strategy Group, revealed that more than 35% of teens admit to cheating with cell phones, and more than half admit to using the Internet to cheat." (1)
"...phones and tablets distract students, compromising their learning and focus." (2)

1. https://www.commonsensemedia.org...
2.https://www.bostonglobe.com...
dipper

Pro

Warmest regards to my honored opponent.

As the world changes, there is always a period in which whatever is new seems to be incompatible with what is established.

Consider, for example, the state of schoolrooms before pencil and paper became commonly available. Prior to such innovation, children carried around portable blackboards and sticks of chalk on which to do their assignments. The introduction of those implements created all the same problems that cell phones create today; suddenly, it became possible to pass notes back and forth (distraction and disruption), people could have extra notes a few pages deep that they'd prepared in advance (cheating), and people could write kick me signs and shoot spitballs (bullying). Many educators of the day could easily have considered pencil and paper to be more harmful than helpful, and they could have made all the same valid points that my opponent makes today.

But pencil and paper, and cell phones, are all just tools. Tools are not inherently good or evil in themselves; how they are employed is the determining factor. And failing to harness the cell phone in today's classroom environment is as short-sighted as failing to embrace pencil and paper would have been in olden times.

1) Cell phones allow for more complicated lessons: Just as pencil and paper allowed for essays and more questions on tests and a written record that one could refer back to, so, too, do cell phones allow for video recordings of class lectures, and video essays can now be created and emailed in to the teacher. Just like textbooks added access to greater material, internet access on phones allows for the entirety of human knowledge to be accessed in the classroom.

2) Chances for cheating can be minimized or eliminated: Imagine, if you will, teachers using a school-designed app to give their tests via the cell phone. The app could be programmed to send the teacher an alert if the student tabs away from it, thus preventing the cell phone from being used improperly.

3) Constant contact becomes easier: If all student cell phones are linked to a teacher's class, then sending out a blast text can accomplish anything, from last-minute changes to a homework assignment to a notification that school is being cancelled for inclement weather, to an in-school notification that the students should head to a different room for a class on a specific day to use a lab or auditorium or something. And students, via the app, could be helping one another with their homework from across town.

4) Cyberbullying will actually decrease: Technology currently carries the perception of being under adults' radar; after all, if someone's teacher followed them on Facebook, that would be perceived as almost creepy on the teacher's part in the current system. But if technology is embraced and used rather than shunned, suddenly the phone doesn't seem like a dark back alley where one can virtually harass those who are easy to pick on.

In conclusion, it is foolish to accept a policy that would move us back instead of forward. Cell phones create a huge opportunity, and harnessing them is far more wise than restricting them.
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