Why Are Schools Stopping Their Bans On Phones? Is this the right move?

Over the past few years, schools, everywhere, canceled bans as phones are seen as more than just distractions. The big question is: are phones really beneficial to students' learning?

Phones Help Students Learn

About 73% of students in the entire United States in middle school use their phones outside of school for educational reasons (David Nagel). Also, about 83% of middle school children have cell phones (Darra Karr). 70% of schools (Nagel) are changing their cell-phone ban policy now, and many more are thinking about it.

Students use their cell phones to learn about algebra.

Phones are known as distractions, but according to Kinjo Kiema, people now see phones as more than just entertainment, and because of this, they are becoming more globally accepted in school (Kinja Kiema). Students can use phones to do assignments, enhance language skills, and even speak in different languages. Phones help with school budgets, and expand the overall learning experience. (Josh Higgins)

Phones Are A Distraction

School is for learning, and it has a reputation of being pretty boring. When a student gets even a little bit bored, and there are phones around, how are they going to control themselves?


Although phones definitely can help students learn, they also can be distracting and not educational. Becky Dieffenbach believes that bringing phones to school "becomes a source of distraction for some students,.. no matter how many times you repeat the rule that they can only be on technology when the teacher says it’s ok, they choose to ignore the rule and then disciplinary actions have to be enforced.” (Kiema) She thinks that phones should not be allowed in classrooms, and the bans should continue.

A School Takes A Stand

One school in Canada tried out using phones in school 9 years ago, and it was a success. Their principal said: "Some thought we were crazy... some embraced the idea initially... about 90 percent came to say it was a good idea... they saw it as a tool for learning.” (David Rapp).

Subjects that were previously difficult to monitor are now easy with phones. According to scholastic, a teacher named Carla Dolman, “Previously, she found it difficult to monitor each of the different groups... kids who had video functions on their phones could record their discussions... and she could watch... without missing a moment” (Rapp).

Students record their teacher's speech to help them study for an upcoming test.

In this study, many of the kids did not have phones, and more have them now; about 40% more. The schools realize that if they use phones now, it will be more successful.

Should The Bans Continue?

Overall, there are pros and cons for both having phones, and not. It is up to Individual schools on whether they believe that their students can handle distractions.

Work Cited

Nagel, David. "Report: Students Use Smart Phones and Tablets for School, Want More." THE Journal. N.p., 05 Aug. 2013. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

Rapp, David. "Lift the Cell Phone Ban." Lift the Cell Phone Ban | Scholastic.com. Scholastic Inc., 2008. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

Higgins, Josh. "More Schools Use Cellphones as Learning Tools." USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 07 Aug. 2013. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

Karr, Dara. "One-fifth of Third-graders Own Cell Phones." CNET. N.p., 09 Apr. 2012. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

Kiema, Kinjo. "As Schools Lift Bans on Cell Phones, Educators Weigh Pros and Cons." NEA Today. N.p., 31 Aug. 2016. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

Created By
Laine Ambrose

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