JRN 412 Advanced editorial and feature writing
Professor Sasha Rae
June 24, 2012
Benefits of Cell Phone Technology in the Classroom
Technology had become engrained in our society. Everywhere people are using cell phones, including children and teenagers. Cell phone technology and technology in general have change the way we do everything in our society. Technology has dramatically altered our world. They have become a necessary part of everyday life so much so that it is leaking into the education world as a new tool despite the concern of the negative effects of cell phone technology. There is a new wave in some schools around the United States. There are some districts that are embracing the use of cell phones in the classroom. Some administers have come around to the thinking that the use of this technology in the classroom can be of benefit in the learning setting. There are also concerns that the same technology can be too distracting for students. However, the use of cell phones in the educational world is worth looking at despite some of the concerns that many adults share. Texting has become the preferred method of basic communication between teenagers and their friends. Seventy-five percent of 12-17 year olds own cell phones, which is up from forty-five percent in 2004 (Lenhart, 2010). Phones have no doubt become an indispensable tool in communication for teens. Eighty-eight percent of teen cell phone users are text messengers (Lenhart, 2010). More than half (fifty-four percent) are daily texters. Among all teens, the use of texting has overtaken the frequency of every other form of communication. The concern about the overuse of cell phones is that it may have negative consequences in teenager’s education. ¼ of text messages that teens send are sent during class. A survey conducted by Beneson’s online poll, polled 1,013 teens- eighty-four percent that have cell phones-show that a significant number of students have information stored on their phones or has texted answers to their friends. The same poll also found teens send 440 text messages a week on average, 110 of them sent during class (Toppo, 2009). For this reason cell phone use is prohibited for use during the school say within most public schools in the United States. Most administrations and teachers feel that cell phone usage is a negative distraction and deterrent to learning. Administrators are often concerned about the inappropriate use of cell phones, which is the reason that there are restrictions of cell phone (according to Obringer & Coffey, 2007, St. Gerard, 2006). Cell phones ringing can present unwanted distraction and for some students, sending and receiving text messages that can lead to cheating (according to Gilroy, 2003). There is also the real possibility of students posting improper pictures is a concern (according to Obringer & Coffey, 2007). However, many are choosing to look at cell phones as a new learning tool in the classroom setting. Over the years we have seen on the news about students posting improper photos and language on social networking sites, which causes administrators and teachers to have a real concern. These concerns that many have are valid, and should be addressed. There have been many cases in which the abuse of cell phones has been a huge problem, but administrators want to take a chance on using cell phones in this setting. The important thing to keep in mind that there is down side, yes, but there is a way to monitor the use of this technology too. PPCD teacher Debra Vela, who has 17 years of teaching experience says, “Sexting, posting of improper photos and cheating may be a legitimate worry, but the benefits outweigh these negative points.” Students today are referred to as “Digital Natives” (according to Prensky, 2001). They have grown up with technology and multitasking, and...