Teachers split over banning smartphones in school

TES is reporting that teachers, parents and pupils are divided over whether smartphones should be used in classrooms or not. 

Smartphones are blamed for everything from distracting pupils from their work to fuelling teenagers’ porn addictions. But others claim the devices can be vital learning tools. Now, a new poll of nearly 3,500 teachers, parents and school children reveals the extent to which people are divided on the issue.

Exactly half of the teachers and school leaders who took part in the survey – carried out by TES in parallel with similar polls by parenting website Mumsnet and children’s newspaper First News – thought pupils should be banned from bringing their smartphones into school.

But Peter Twining, professor of the future of education at the Open University, said that rather than banning phones, schools should include them in lessons.

“Schools can’t afford all the [technological] kit they need; it seems bonkers not to take advantage of the fact that young people have this technology in their pockets that they could use for educational purposes,” he said.

Addressing concerns that such a move would discriminate against pupils who don’t own smartphones, Professor Twining said that most secondary school pupils today have phones and they are nearly always smartphones.

More at: Teachers split over banning smartphones in school

What do you think? Should smartphones be used in classrooms or not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena

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Comments

  1. N Jack

    Bottom set y11 student says, ‘Can I take a screenshot of that PowerPoint slide, Miss. It looks as if it will be useful for the task’ . What’s not to like?

  2. TeacherInTraining

    This would put further economical on parents who already struggle to raise funds for clothes and food. Now they would have to buy expensive smart phones so their children could be educated. It’s impractical and further exemplifies the gap between the rich and poor. I had a functional ‘old’ phone until i was 16 and could buy one with my own money earned from my weekend job (I’m 18 now and studying education at university) and if smart phones were used in lessons, i would have been unable to interact and learn with the other children. This is something that actually happened to a friend of mine in college last year. She didn’t have a smart phone and so couldn’t participate when the class used an app called Kahoot for an interactive lesson.

  3. Nairb1

    I think you’re missing the point. Phones in classrooms bring an additional IT capacity to the lesson. There is no reason for every student to have a phone, nor would the school exert pressure on them to do so. For example if a group was researching something which would be better done via the Internet then all it needs is one phone for the group. No need for everyone to have one. Such use could enhance interaction. You may as well say there could be no interaction with text books unless everyone has a copy. And one example is hardly (Kahoot) evidence to support a viewpoint.

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