New poll: Do you think smartphones should be allowed to be used in classrooms?

A recent article on using smartphones in classrooms has reported that a survey they have conducted has found teachers, pupils and parents divided on whether or not classrooms should integrate the use of smartphones.

Do you agree? Vote in our new poll… 

Do you think smartphones should be allowed to be used in classrooms?

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Categories: Poll and Promotion.


  1. Britinfloridaus

    When I was young we did not have a phone. That was in a red box a few minutes walk away. Yet today all I hear is it is for a child’s safety. I do wonder how I ever coped!!

  2. Nairb1

    Presumably less easily than children today.
    I managed in a house which was freezing in winter outside the living room, but I don’t use that as a justification for complaining about central heating.

  3. Nairb1

    I used to keep warm. It’s just that central heating made it easier. If we remove all modern conveniences just because they aren’t a necessity life would be less good. Ready to give up your car are you?

  4. Used sensibly with teacher permission and guidance, smartphones, tablets and laptops can be an asset.  When they’re not needed for educational reasons, they should be switched off.

  5. ian Crawford

    The idea of denying access to knowledge and current information is beyond my own thinking. We need to train young people in their use, help them become disciplined in use and harness the vast potential. They can be a distraction but used properly they have enormous power. We are no longer the guardians of knowledge. Our task is to help young people become safe users and better researchers.

  6. Britinfloridaus

    If phones were used for calculators and dictionaries fine, but let’s be realistic. Phones are used for texting, facebook and other social media which can lead to bullying.

  7. Britinfloridaus

    There is a big difference between keeping warm and the necessity of a phone. You can live without a smartphone, not so if you are not warm. Driving I don’t use a car for three months of the year so have already partially given it up.

  8. Britinfloridaus That’s why I said their use needed to be sanctioned and monitored by the teacher.  Any pupil abusing permission to use the phone for educational purposes should be disciplined – perhaps by confiscating the phone and only returning it to a parent or carer.

  9. Britinfloridaus

    Janet2 Britinfloridaus Actually you said “Used appropriately for educational reasons”, which is different to what you are now suggesting.  From my experience of many inner city schools phones are banned as being the only way of stopping text bullying during school time.  Of course it happens outside school hours and that has led to nasty incidents in the “playground”.

  10. Nairb1

    And voices are used for bullying but we don’t try to stop students from talking. The key is appropriate use of the phone in lessons where they can be used very effectively to, for example, support research. Adds to the IT capacity of the school. If the students use the phones inappropriately in lessons that’s a class /school discipline issue, nothing to do with the phones. We wouldn’t think of banning books because badly behaved students might throw them at each other.

  11. Britinfloridaus

    This all comes back to essential and non essentials. Phones are not essentials. Having seen at first hand how schools that do not allow phones in school’s as oppose to those who do have combatted bullying I know it makes sense.

  12. Nairb1

    And having worked in two schools as headteacher and many schools as a senior education adviser for a local authority I know that the best schools take opportunities and make them work rather than say ‘There’s a potential problem here so let’s ignore the benefits and just try and ban the problem out of existence.’ Does anyone really think that problems with bullying via social media will stop just because schools don’t allow mobile phones?

  13. Britinfloridaus

    No but makes it less so for the victims. There are adequate alternatives such as calculators and dare I say research by reading a book. Some would say that there are some short term advantages to taking drugs but You would not be advocating that.

  14. Nairb1

    Sorry but if you think that the only use for a smartphone in classrooms is as a calculator or a substitute for a book (which might or might not be available in school) then I’m afraid your opposition to smartphones in schools is based on a lack of imagination and the possibilities of innovative use of technology in classrooms. I was in a classroom recently when the students were studying Hamlet. Smartphones were used to display two actors differing interpretations of the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy, researched by the students, discussed by the students, managed by the teacher … brilliant.
    I asked my daughter about this. She’s a headteacher. Easy, she says:
    1. Students are allowed to bring smartphones to school.
    2. They can use them only with permission of a teacher, in and out of class..
    3. Use one without permission and its confiscated until end of the day
    4. Use one again without permission and its confiscated until an adult collects it
    5. Third time … permission to bring to school revoked.
    Any incidents of bullying using social media dealt with in line with the school’s overall bullying policy. Allowing the students to have phones in school means education on safe use of phones is more personal and therefore more likely to be followed.
    That sounds like good leadership to me. And good doesn’t mean always taking the ‘ban it’ route.

  15. Britinfloridaus A mobile phone is a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopaedia rolled into one.  It can be used for research and pupils need training in which internet sources are reliable and which are not.  As I said, their classroom use needs to be used with teacher oversight for phones to be an effective aid.
    Phones won’t go away. Banning phones is actually futile because pupils will keep them in their bags and use them during breaks.  Better to educate pupils as to their proper use and have disciplinary measures in place when they don’t.

  16. Britinfloridaus

    Clearly your experience is not first hand in inner city schools as is mine. I have seen the difference when phones are collected each day. Also what do you say to the students whose parents cannot afford a smart phone. One thing we do agree on not all on the internet us factually true

  17. Britinfloridaus Perhaps the answer is to have a few tablets in the classroom to lend to pupils.  The cost could be offset by not having to buy printed dictionaries and thesauruses.

  18. Nairb1

    Mine is. Smartphones are commonplace. To use ‘not all parents can afford one’ is ridiculous, as Janet says there are easy ways round that. When she says have aged tablets to lend to pupils I suspect she means just for those students without phones. I agree that banning phones is an easy response, but it’s not a solution. It deprives the students and teachers of a valuable resource. To claim it reduces bullying is nonsense … phones are a mechanism of bullying, not its cause. Dealing with the root problem is essential. Banning phones is in effect closing your eyes and pretending the problem has gone away.

  19. Britinfloridaus

    Nairb1 But it takes away the temptation.  You have made your point and I have made mine.  The ping pong of these texts demonstrates how easily bullying by a phone can take place!

  20. Britinfloridaus The ping ponging of messages which offer different opinions isn’t bullying.  It can get tedious for those not involved but disagreement isn’t bullying.  Bullying is when threats are made/implied, or when it is intended to isolate the recipient.  I’ve seen nothing here which I would regard as bullying.
    Ping ponging can be useful.  This thread proves that.  Your replies to me made me think of a way round potential problems caused by pupils having mobile phones in schools and their undoubted usefulness as a resource.

  21. ian Crawford

    The idea of banning the greatest technological development that allows access to all knowledge is quite simply…. Yes there are issues but they will be worse if we do not help young people access and use the digital age sensibly and critically.

  22. Britinfloridaus

    Nairb1 No my point is that you keep coming back just like a bully – that is exactly what happens with texting.

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