learning.now: at the crossroads of Internet culture & education with host Andy Carvin

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Learning.now is a weblog that explores how new technology and Internet culture affect how educators teach and children learn. It will offer a continuing look at how new technology such as wikis, blogs, vlogs, RSS, podcasts, social networking sites, and the always-on culture of the Internet are impacting teacher and students' lives both inside and out of the classroom.
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Should Students be Allowed to Carry Cell Phones?

Wired News reports on current attempts by parents groups and policymakers to force New York City schools to allow students to carry cell phones. The schools have long banned mobile devices as a public nuisance, but critics argue that cellphones are an important lifeline between children and parents.

“Quite simply, this is a safety issue,” said City Councilwoman Letitia James, who’s introduced legislation to overturn the practice. “It’s a safety issue that we have to resolve.” NYC schools chancellor Joel Klein is skeptical of the proposal, as is mayor Michael Bloomberg. “We don’t need to have kids go off and look at entertainment and do other things during the classroom,” Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show. “And we just don’t have the ability to check the phones at the door. So I don’t have any easy solutions for parents who want their children to have cell phones before school and after school.”

Where do readers stand on this debate? Are cell phones a nuisance or a necessity? Or perhaps just a necessary evil? And could Mayor Bloomberg’s characterization of cellphones as “entertainment” apply just as easily to laptops, given how mobile phones are quickly becoming handheld computing devices in their own right? Sound off and share your thoughts. -andy

Filed under : Mobile Devices, Policy, Safety


When I heard this story on NPR last week, I started yelling at the radio. What percentage of our country has a cell phone? Every business person has a cell phone. Most teachers do (I am one of them).

There are so many creative lessons that could be put together with cell phones, especially since many of them have cameras at this point.

I think this policy is one that shows a lack of respect and trust for students and teachers. The reality, is that what we need to do is to embrace these new technologies, learn the good and the bad about them, and then model effective use for our students. If that means turning your cell phone off during class and assemblies, then we are learning how to be productive and respectful citizens. Isn’t that what school is supposed to be about?

My 2 cents.

This is a tough question. On one hand we need to engage kids. I teach in a very rural high school, and most of our kids have cell phones and text message regularly. They are interested in that stuff. Part of me knows that I need to figure out a way to use that interested and twist it educationally in my favor. However, I also know that cell phones, and other communication devices provide another way for kids to cheat. Yes, it is a teacher management issue - just like our laptops, but it is just that, another issue for teachers to manage. With text messaging, photo phones and simply phone usage - cheating on tests becomes easier and easier - and once again, the kids are ahead of us.

At a educational technology conference (http://www.peteandc.org/), Hall Davidson from Discovery Education posed a similar question: what do we do with these kids with phones. His answer - work it into the curriculum. For starters, how many teachers are asking for digital cameras for their classroom? You might already have several - as a feature on student cell phones. Another example given was asking students to turn in short text assignments via SMS… TANKA poetry was the example given.

I’m a big fan of phones with video and photo capabilities - I’ve been photo blogging with my phone for a few years now. Most of the projects I’ve seen doing this, though, have been after-school or out-of-school projects. I’m not absolutely sure why this is the case, but I suspect it’s a combination of being a little behind the curve plus concerns over liability, copyright and privacy - even though all of these things can be dealt with effectively.

All too often, dicussion around technology centers on the equipment (banning cell phone or promoting 1-to-1 laptop programs), when the more central and pertinent issue is: How is the technology being employed? …and that answer to that will likely be multiple and will change depending on the context. However, it is an very important question to be answered as policy decisions are made and technological equipment is being enrolled to advance education ends.

As with everything else, the answer is “it depends”.

Once upon a time, I was against cell phones (or personal electronics) entirely. That’s changed with time.

I still believe that, during class time (including time when the student may be outside of the classroom, such as going to/from the bathroom), the cell phones should be off and put away. Absent a specific project for the class, there isn’t a good reason for their use.

Students argue that their employers call to adjust work schedules; my response is that school comes first. Boy/Girlfriends may call. Again, school comes first. Parents may call. Again, school comes first.

As for parents, they should be calling/coming in to the office if they need to take their student to an appointment anyway, so there isn’t a real good reason.

On their own time, such as passing periods or lunch, I’m not against the use of phones. But I do worry about isolation. Stuents are texting or talking with folks elsewhere, perhaps at the other high school, instead of interacting with the peers around them.

A friend of mine commented the other day that this isolation is very pronounced at the University where she works, where students are often seen pulling out their phones as they pack their bags to leave lectures and other classes. This leads to much more loneliness, and the university is having to deal with the isolating effects.

I suspect (but have no evidence either way) that similar issues could be said for other personal electronics (iPods, etc). Others reading this will know that side more.

So a qualified “It depends”. As with so many things, the answer is rarely black-and-white. Just keep the phones off while I’m teaching.

“Should children be allowed to carry cell phones” seems to be a bit of a distraction. What is important in the growth of young people is the definition and respect for boundaries. If young people carry cell phones (they do), there needs to be a clear school policy around the appropriate time and places of cell phone use. Classrooms should not be one of them unless there is a stuctured lesson for their use. As others have written, there are exciting ways to engage these tools for classroom instruction. Unfortunately is it, and always will be, a challenge for teachers to draw boundaries and direct attention. Perhaps taking the “either-or” conflict out of the cell phone debate will allow for more creative (and mature) ways of simultaneously limiting and directing cell phone activity during classroom hours.

Maybe we Southerners are just slow about this. Cell phones have to stay off in Tampa-area schools during school hours, but they can be on before the first bell and after the last bell.

I’m unaware of any complaints about this policy.

The policy here at my high school is - no phone use in the building. The negatives outweigh the positives right now. It is also another digital divide issue - many of the same students who do not have internet access and/or a computer at home do not have cell phones.

Given the level of behavior of nearly all cell phone users that I have had contact with (the phone rings, and in the middle of a face to face conversation with a real live person, the phone is answered and a conversation ensues as if everyone and everything around them vanished…they are alone with their cell phone), I would have to say a resounding NO. They are and will continue to be a distraction in class, particularly video phones. No student is so utterly important, or so deeply at risk, that a parent has to call them in the middle of class. If a dire emergency arises, call the school and have the student pulled from class. In my experience, the greatest use of phones in class has been students calling each other. The few times its been a parent, its been for frivolous things, to remind them to pick up their siblings after school, to remind them of a dentist appointment, or (in one case) to wish the student a happy birthday and let them know that balloons and flowers were going to be delivered to their classroom. The few perceived benefits of cells in class are far outweighed by the negatives, in my opinion.

I am a librarian in an elementary school in Chicago. Students carry cell phones. They must keep them in their pockets/purses during the school day. However, at 2:45 the end of the school day, students are on their cell phones checking in with parents. This is a good thing. The rule is if a cell phone is seen by any adult during the school day, it will be taken and the parent has to come to get it. We have not had any problems. Students call parents at the end of the day to see about pick-ups and what they can and cannot do after school. Cell phones don’t have to be a problem.

First off, I can understand safety concerns about parents wanting to keep in touch with their children…but during the school day call the school to contact your child or leave them a voice mail and they can check it at the end of the school day. I’ve done a lot of subbing, some urban some suburban and it seems to be a growing problem no matter where the school is. Honestly it truely bothers me that I’ve had to take a cell phone away from students at 10 am because they are taking a call from their buddies when they should be working on the essay that their teacher has assigned them; I’ve heard the excuse “but my mom needs to get ahold of me”…their parents can do what mine did and call the school. To make a point with them, when I do take the phones away I go through there dialed calls just to show how much they really “talk” to their parents at school…it gets them to close their mouths and stop complaining quick. I graduated in 2000 and cell phones didn’t even seem like an issue but now I am just blown away at the amount of cell phones floating around schools these days, I do not allow students to play with their cell phones while I am in the classroom…however if all the work is done, and I check to make sure, I sometimes allow them to play games on their phones but I have never allowed them to make calls during school hours. I am sorry but if they need to call their parents they can march themselves to the office and use the phone there. If I see or hear the phones before the lesson is complete I take it away and I keep it until the end of the day, but as a sub it is difficult for me to do this because a lot of times there seems to be a very relaxed attitude towards enforcing these rules which makes it darn near impossible for me to be taken seriously when I take the phones from the students.
Personally, when I become a full fledge teacher I do not intend to allow students to run around with their phones. I made it through school perfectly fine without having a cell phone in my bookbag and it won’t kill the students today to leave their phones in their lockers or keeping them in their bookbags until the end of the day. Some people might not agree with me on this, and they have a right to their own opinion, but that is just how I feel about it.

Should Students be Allowed to Carry Cell Phones?

I find this title interesting. Perhaps it should be “Should students be allowed to receive and making calls, sending and receiving SMS, snaping photos etc., using their personal cell phone during class?

Long, long time ago when there were no cell-phones, (or if one is too poor to have a cell phone) family would call the students’ office if there were emergency. That system worked perfectly ok. In fact since the calls have to go via the office, centralized thus, the school offices always were up-to-date with the well being of their students.

In schools yes; in classes, no.

I teach college English and state in my syllabus that cell phones must be turned off in class. Early in most semesters, somebody’s cell phone goes off in class or they talk on it while I’m talking. So I throw fit. They get the point after that; cells phones are disruptive during class. The same goes for old-fashioned chatting with your neighbor. In both cases, you’re interrupting the instructor.

Occasionally, students have come to me before class to say they are awaiting an emergency phone call and I’ve let them keep the phone on during class.

As far as carrying around the cell phone before and after class, I don’t see a problem with that. It’s just the interruption of class that I mind.


for comparison:
In the UK, one person was disrespectful with their phone (camera) in school -

Teachers have voted to boycott a pupil who secretly took a photo of a female member of staff’s cleavage.

Cidy wrote:

I find this title interesting. Perhaps it should be “Should students be allowed to receive and making calls, sending and receiving SMS, snaping photos etc., using their personal cell phone during class? Long, long time ago when there were no cell-phones, (or if one is too poor to have a cell phone) family would call the students’ office if there were emergency. That system worked perfectly ok. In fact since the calls have to go via the office, centralized thus, the school offices always were up-to-date with the well being of their students.

I don’t think there are many parents or policymakers in NYC that are arguing that kids should be able to use their cell phones in class (though using those phones specifically for educational purposes can be done). The debate so far is focused on the simpler question - should students even be in possession of phones?

As others have said, I think there’s an obvious distinction between possessing the phone and using the phone when you’re not supposed to. Kids could just as easily use their laptops for playing games when they’re not supposed to, though we don’t ban laptops (except in some law school classrooms, apparently). Eventually, I think there may even be a time when mobile phones will actually be required, because they will be full-fledged Internet devices. Then, it’ll just be a matter of teaching and enforcing appropriate behavior rather than debating this either-or question. But we’re a long way from that…. -andy

I live and work in Illinois. Cell phones were banned by law from schools until Columbine. Now the law states (and our handbook) that students may have cell phones on their person, but they must be turned off from the time they arrive until the time they leave, including extra-curricular stuff. Our school policy is, if we “find” a cell phone, we take it from the student and the parent has to retrieve it. The way we find them is usually that the student forgets to turn it off and it rings. I recently had this happen right at the end of detention. Yes, I took it away. I really wonder sometimes why many people seem to think that if it is technology we have to allow it. If we stop and think about whether or not the activity being done with the technology (talking to people on the phone during school) would be allowed I think a lot of stuff would be outlawed! Just my opinion.

Hi Andy,

We may have a relatively long history with this. In our middle school, kids switch their phones off while they are on campus. Parents are instructed to contact the school on our landlines if there is an emergency at home. On the other hand, if we have an emergency at school, an earthquake, for example, kids will have their phones with them and can contact their parents to give them a status report.

Some exceptions may be made in math classes, as some phones contain calculators, and in language classes, as some phones have handy dictionaries.

Presently, our seventh grade is on a week-long extended campus trip. No phones for kids. Teachers have cell phones. Parents were given their child’s teacher’s cell phone number, and can contact the teacher—or the school—in the event of a family emergency.

Best regards,

Martin Swist
Middle School LMS
The American School In Japan

Cell phones in class? NO! I have observed students text messaging and checking voice mail during class. It is annoying. Cell phones should be turned off during class. Yes, let’s find some creative ways to make use of cell phones.

Hi Maggie,

That’s a lot of mixed messages in one post. :-) You seem to have three different perspectives here:

1. Cell phones in class? NO!

2. Cell phones should be turned off during class.

3. Yes, let’s find some creative ways to make use of cell phones.

I think some people might say you can’t have it both ways (or all three ways for that matter), but this also shows how the either-or mentality doesn’t make sense. Isn’t it possible to work out a policy where students carry mobile phones but can’t use them except in an emergency or when directed by a teacher? Or is that just unrealistic?

Hello from the Big Apple,

The cel phone (and iPod) ban in NYC public schools has placed a number of antagonistic interests in the ring together. There has been little discussion of potential positive uses of technology and much arguing about the imposition of the policy on a city wide basis as opposed to allowing principals to run their schools as they see fit. In addition, (and unfortunately) there are metal detectors in some of our schools so the idea that some students are being searched and have had phones and iPods summarily confiscated without having abused their use is in play. Finally, there has been an ongoing battle over institutional governance since the Mayor gained full control of the public education system with this being the latest high profile confrontation.

The administration says they are concerned about cheating and distractions in the classroom but this may be smokescreen. I believe they are concerned about the potential for crimes being committed in or around our schools but won’t say so outright. While we have been told the number of weapons seized and the statistics on the violent crimes in certain of our public schools, the unanswered question is this: Has there been an under-reported rash of stolen iPods and cel phones that has driven this decision as a preventive measure? Is it easier to just ban them than find a way to safely secure them for the course a day if there are 10, 20 50, 100 such devices in a given school. Since our elected officials, NYPD, and the Chancellor have not been forthcoming, we have this big fight.

If such information was being shared with parents openly, maybe there could be a mature discussion of the issues. At the core of this is not simply cel phone good or bad, but the overall decisionmaking processes in the NYC Department of Education which marginalize the parents as well as many of the education professionals running our schools.

Nothing is easy in my home town.

Paul Mondesire

I’m going to go out on a limb and say no cell phones in school. Do we really need them? Do we really need to add one more thing to the curriculum? In this day with state testing and NCLB, I think most teachers have enough on their plate to deal with and fit in.
If they were allowed, I don’t think most students would be able to handle turning off the phone when class starts, not taking a call during class or being late to class because they were on the phone. I sat in meetings where adults couldn’t do it.
As far as a safety issue- When I was in school, if something came up, my parents called the school office to relay the message. As far as I know, that method still works today.

As far as a safety issue- When I was in school, if something came up, my parents called the school office to relay the message. As far as I know, that method still works today.

That would have worked just fine in a pre-9/11, pre-Columbine world, but the parents and community leaders in NYC are arguing otherwise. The method you suggest wouldn’t work in case of an earthquake, a Columbine, or a terrorist attack. It would be interesting to hear from schools that allow cell phones and learn how they manage them. Is it as simple as having a no-tolerance policy regarding use (except in emergencies), but allowing them to carry the phones?

Our school handbooks state that students may have a cell phone, but that it must be turned off and kept out of sight while at school. Should a phone be seen or heard during the school day, it is taken to the office. If a student absolutely needs to use their cell phone during the school day it must be done in the office area.

Parents are told to call the school office to talk to their children, but obviously we can’t block their calls if they choose to call their child’s cell phone.

I have never heard one good reason why a kid needs to have a cellphone on their person in school. Some people try to justify this by saying there could be a Columbine-type shooting; we don’t let them carry guns, either, but a gun would do more good in that situation than a phone. And we’re hardly going to let them carry guns. If anyone could come up with a way to use cell phones positively in class without them being abused by calling their friends in other classes, I’d be glad to listen. I can’t see that happening, though.

I Don’t think there is a blanket policy that can be applied to all schools on this issue. I think each campus needs to decide for their self.

As long as cell phones are not causing a disruption I don’t see why student’s should have them.

Teachers and administrators should try to use them to their advantage to enhance their students education. Ex: better communication with the student and engaging lesson plans.

The cell phone should be integrated in the curricullum. Last year, my aunt received a call of a thief pretending that my cousing was kidnaped by the group and she should pay an amount of 5000 dollars in a few hours in a certain place and etc.. She called my cousing imediatelly in his cell phone. He answered and told her that nothing happened with him and he was safe inside the school in Sao Paulo - Brazil. I think cell phones in school are a necessary evil.

Best regards,
Ana Maria Moraes.

Just a thought:
What ideas do the students themselves have to resolve the issue of cellphones in schools? Let them in on this debate, and have them work it out together. And they should help decide on consequences for the disruptive use of a cell phone in school.
(Ok, ok, in schools where unruly behavior is admired by other students, that’s a whole other issue to be adressed first.)
Camilla Golden, NY

kids should be allowed there phones at school 4 emergencies

In NYC, our children are denied a school bus as of 3rd grade if they live less than a mile from their school, or if they go to a school out of their “zone.” They are given metro cards and told to take public transportation to school. So, from the age of 10 and up, thousands and thousands of NYC students rely on public transportation to get to and from school. These are not suburban kids being transported from home to school and back by the school system. Many children leave home at 7 am to get to school by 8 am. If they are lucky (not many are), there is a supervised afterschool program for them until about 5 pm, at which time they take mass transit home. This is the real world, where parents work, and many kids are on their own before and after school. Cell phones are necessary since the school system refuses to acknowledge its responsibility to keep the students safe on their way to and from school. Remember, this is a school system that until recently, refused to supply soap and paper towels in school bathrooms because the kids couldn’t be trusted with them.
Nellie Stein

You have hit the nail on the head. As an experienced educator (26 years in the classroom), I have seen it all. The root of the problem is not the phone - it is the owner/holder of the phone. My district has an established policy that all electronic devices from CD players to cell phones are considered as ‘contraband’ and are not allowed at school. In reality students blatantly walk down the halls on cell phones, MP3 players hooked to couples (one earphone apiece), pagers, etc daring any adult to challenge them. We are told to “ask” the student to put the item away but there are absolutely no consequences if they do not. I even had a student text her mother while in class because she didn’t like the seat I had assigned her to. The mother showed up at the school threatening to shoot me for harassing her daughter. There is no answer except for adults to act like adults and follow laws and policies as established. This is why the teaching profession is in danger and many of us are leaving prior to retirement.

A Public School Teacher
Charlotte, NC

The issue of cell phones should be discussed with students, stimulating them to think about rules and collaborate to adapt rules proposed by adults.
Usually, as a group, students agree with proposed rules and enrich them. Research on moral development shows that sometimes they are more rigorous than adults about unacceptable behavior.
I agree with most opinions externed here. Cell phones should not be allowed in classrooms, unless the task being done may profit from its use. But school is not alone. Such devices are not desirable in churches, in operating rooms, in studios, in justice courts, etc.
Depending on the case, the teacher should decide whether to permit it or not.
Research on actual uses, security issues, etc. is needed.

Besides the cell phones put up and out of sight, I suggest the schools make a school policy that has a no tolerance rule when it comes to cell phones. That along with harsher punishment.

Instead of taking the cell phone away for 1 day (Taking a cell phone away for one day is like a slap on the wrist), take it away for 1 month and their parent or guardian will have to pick it up in order for the student to use it again 1 month later. If the student is caught within that 1 month with the cell phone treat it as the second offense. If a second offense should follow, the same should happen as the first offense along with suspension of the student. The same with the third offense, only this time the cell phone should be taken for the remainder of the school year. I’d call it 3 strikes and the cell phone was out policy. Any other offense afterwards, the same as the second and third offense should follow. It should continue until the student is expelled for the remainder of the school year.

Also, I suggest the schools to make a school policy whereas the only cell phone allowed in school was the cell phones without all the bells and whistles. No text messaging, no camera, and etc. Anywhere from 2 to 5 phone numbers can be dialed and received from them. I’m not 100% sure but I think there are those types of cell phones available.

I made the suggestions above because a school that has already banned cell phones in school may not allow them back in without these few suggestions. Harsher punishment tends to do better than being more lenient. The cell phones I described may tend to be a lot less disrupted. Kids may not like them as much as the much nicer ones but the kids will be able to contact their parent/guardian on them if needed or vice versa.

Should students have cell phones?

My comment to this is that students should not have cell phones. The reason for this is because of tests. It has been proven that students can cheat with cell phones. The teachers would have to collect the cell phones during testing and therefore this is a extra thing that the teacher would have to do during each class. Also the phones could get mixed up when the phones are given back to the students. I can understand the cell phones are for safety reasons and issuses, but lets’ get real. It has been done that students will do anything to pass a class and if it can and will be done they will try it. By Sarah

I wrote about this issue five years ago for District Administration Magazine.


It would be nice if adults could mature over time, but alas there is scant of evidence of rational thought.

As a high school student in New Zealand, we are also having this problem. However our cell phones must be off and in our bags in class. (we put them on silent)and if you are caught using your cell phone in class then you get it taken off you for the day. I live in the country and once in a blue moon me or my little brother will miss the bus. This is where our cell phones come in handy to contact our parents. Also alot of parents dont have time to call the school office and would rather send a fast txt message to their kid. (sometimes it is very personal,family matters) We check these messages at morning tea and lunch time. As for the creative side, my english teacher once told us to convert a poem into txt language, my art teacher gave us homework to take a photo of our hand next to a plant with our camera phones and bring them to school and draw the captured image.Suprise! when everyone did there homework.

I agree with Mia, cell phones can be distracting children from their learning so rules from teachers need to be clear. However getting them to use their cell phones in a educational way is fantastic. I have done this with my students and the response has been amazing! We have also set a a system where students can txt in for some information on their classes. So for example one of my students helps around his family farm and can stand in the middle of the paddock and read his txt as a way of revising for a test. Like a note book! Its fantastic :)

i think that children should be allowed mobile phones at school because if like a after school club in cancelled they could ring their mum or dad or some one in relation to them

Just had a situation of a teacher using their cell phone in school, in the hall, in front of students. This teacher was a “newbie” and looked very, very young so another staff member admonished her. When he was told it was a teacher he asked, “should that make a difference?” I think it shouldn’t. Teachers should be models for students. It shouldn’t be “do as I say but not what I do.” We’re not dealing with those types of students these days.

I loved one of the previous responses, “it’s not the phone, it’s the owner/user.” It called good judgement, being able to adhere to rules and regulations. Teacher’s shouldn’t be above the rules … and I’m a teacher.

mobile phones and ipods in class can be a distraction if they are turned on unless they are turned off.

iPods and other electronics should not be banned. If theft is an issue then students are responsible for their belongings, and that will not effect their working. If distractions is the issue then iPods should be allowed to be used when the student asks the teacher if it is okay for the lesson, and cell phones should just be kept hidden from teachers during class. Obviously phones should not be used during class because that IS distracting, but iPods are said to help students to be calm and concentrate on their work. Think about it, if students is listening to music they aren’t going to be talking to each other because they won’t hear each other, and will be able to work constructively and quietly. iPods are great for getting work done.

For the person who commented that perhaps students should be let in on the debate, I am a junior in high school. I very strongly believe that cellphones need to be allowed in school. Of course students shouldn’t be permitted to use them (and therefore they should not be allowed to be turned on) during class. I can’t believe that anyone would disagree. What teacher would want half their class to be txting during a lecture? But the amount of communication that needs to be done before and after school is just too much, and often too important, for anyone to be able to live conveniently without a cell phone. In the past I have needed to call my friends and parents about rides home from school, about schedule changes, with homework questions(do I need to bring this textbook home?), about whether or not I might need to stay after school that day for an activity, I’ve called my mom directly after school to tell her about exciting audition results, the list is really endless.
I think it’s really ridiculous that you could call something that enables communication isolating. If there’s a person who’s using their cellphone to immediately call someone from another school once the final beel rings (I’ve never witnessed this by the way), then it’s hardly likely that they’re the type of person to avoid their peers. Giving a teenager a cell phone only makes them more socially interactive.

As for iPods, I’ve found that a student prone to being reclusive will use their iPod to avoid people, but a student who’s socially active will use it to be more socially active. Notice how on iPods it’s possible for two people to listen to the same one at the same time. This is really the main way that I see them being listened to. In the hallways there’s always little pairs trying to navigate the crowds without having an earbud fall out, laughing and chatting with each other. And naturally when there are three or more students walking with each other from one class to the next, we work it out so no one is ever left out. Listening to music between periods is a really good way to relax and lift your spirits.
I’ve also found that literally nobody listens to their iPods during lunch, unless they’re trying to concentrate on homework. Literally everyone talks to their friends during lunch. There are no loners in corners with their music blaring to themselves, even though I’d estimate 80% of the students do have iPods in their backpacks.
Again, though, as with cell phones, students cannot be allowed to use them when class participation becomes an issue. I’ve had teachers that let us listen to music while we work on homework towards the end of class (though people would only listen with one ear, because they naturally wanted to still be able to communiate), and I often listen to my iPod during art to help me concentrate.

Private technology use in schools of course can have many negatives if improperly regulated, but this does not mean that it should be entirely banned. Cell phones and iPods can be incredibly useful when used in the right way. Why not just let students have them and make rules about their use according to common sense of what conflicts with the learning process?

What are the restrictions in your area for cell phones on school buses? Fulton County in Georgia tells us that my child, a 10th grader, isn’t allowed to use her cell phone on the bus for “safety reasons”. I think kids should be able to have cell phones, but should not be using them at school but they should be able to use them on the bus.

i think college cell phones should be allowed at middle schools because no one knows when an emergency can occur.

I was wondering if kids should be able to have other electronics such as iPods,cd players, nanos,PDA’s, and other Items such as those.

I think if students cant have phones in schoold nether should teachers because ive been in call and my teacher will use her phone but we cant have ours why? She said she needs to cheak on her kids but i have a littel girl and im still is school why cant i use mine?

I teach at a community college and I don’t mind students using their phones BEFORE or AFTER class. But I am from the old school….It is just plain rude to have some knuckle head answer his/her cell phone while I’m lecturing or a fellow classmate is speaking. If you’re expecting an important phone call, then either don’t come to class or put the phone on vibrate. I refuse to believe the notion that a student might receive an ‘emergency phone call’. NO ONE gets an emergency phone call every class meeting, and if you do, then you should drop the class because you obviously have more pressing issues.
It’s sheer arrogance on students’ part, and administrators are catering to a generation of spoiled inconsiderate brats. I’ve told several students over the last few years to get out of my class because of their cell phones; the majority of them usually have a shocked or surprised look on their faces as if I’m crazy, and interrupting a class is normal. Apparently, this “ME” generation is under the impression that somebody owes them something.

Yea I totally think that cell phones should be alloweed in school, I mean if the student is responable enough to turn it off during important assemblies in school or important things being held in classrooms then I do think that we should be allowed to have them in case of emergencys. as long as they are used properly.
thanks for asking Christa

I have same consent with Ms.Cidy, cell phones should be allowed in school campus but not in class, in case of the cheating is taking place during the test.

i think students should have phones in school but they may not be on and played with during school only before and after school. i think they need the phones because of the crimes that are happining and kids need to be safe and keep in contact with family members!


i think that we should be able to carry cell phones

I am currently doing a debate on whether or not cell phones should be allowed in schools period and ive been reading these blogs for help. I agree that u should be allowed to use them only if it is inbetween classes and or just in case u need to get in touch with your parent. I know of a situation in which a parent had to contact their child for something important and they didnt get it so they didnt know to ride home with their friend. The office delivered it to the student two weeks later. The office has so much to deal with that sometimes they are not always efficient or punctual.

nope they arent needed


Hi Lauren,

What age groups are you defining as “kids”? Would that include high school students as well, or is your concern more focused on younger kids? -andy

I feel that this opinion is true and should be told to the government to have it ratified.

Students should be allowed to use phones at school. Not during class, but in passing periods, and before and after school but while on campus.

I like the idea of kids getting to use cell phones inn school for emergency. or if they get the idea of taling to riends in class and maybe kids would enjoy school more iff they brought there cell phones.

Hi Aura,

Having kids talk on their phones so they enjoy school more may seem like the perfect type of education reform from the perspective of students, but that ain’t gonna fly with the teachers I know. :-)

If the cell phone is out sight who cares.

Milwaukee just banned cell phones this week because they’ve been used during school fights, with students calling in reinforcements from off campus. More here.

i think cellphones should not be allowed in school,it can be a cause of distruction during classes.it can be in a silent mode?yes of course but do you think it has something to do with the with what lesson your taking?how about during emergency? thats why every school has a phone…..and think about thiss do you think in a middle of the tragedy you can use your phone?ofcourse not what your going to think is to keep your self safe first….thats my own opinion……anyway

Actually, there seems to be plenty of evidence that kids use cellphones during emergencies. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard replays of 911 messages from students, voicemails, txt messages, etc, after an incident. One can still argue that emergencies are rare enough that cell phones aren’t merited, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no evidence to suggest they aren’t used in emergencies.

From a student view. I believe that during class cellphones should not be used. However what is wrong with having cell phones during lunch time in the cafeteria as well as if we have a study hall time where we have no instructions that must be followed for that day. If there is no curriculum for a time, then we should be able to use cell phones. Also, i have used my cell phone to keep in touch with my mother

LOOK, i am a student. I was researching debate topic when I got to this, and this stuff its overwhemilng., well, for emergencies, u dont knw when theyre gunna happen! anmd, i was supposed to ride home w/ a friend here, my mom called the school and they didnt tell me!! but hah they did! THREE FREAKIN WEEKS LATER!!!

if we want to developed into the modern and inovative country, we must use our technological benefically like cell phones.
if you think about the modern country you may imagine that the modern country must have the wide uses of technologies, you can see at japan where the people at there uses their technologies benefically for example their use they technolgies everywhere at home, at work, at school and even at toilet and you can see them now sitting higher than other country. can you think why this could be happen. if you want to know, japanese use their technologies without boundaries they know that if you want to be advance in something, you must use the SOMETHING AND TRY TO LEARN TO USE IT, LOVE IT AND THEN YOU WOULD KNOW HOW TO RENOVATES THE PROBLEMS OF SOMETHING. for me the use of mobile phone in school can be benefical if goverment gives a step to prevent the bad thing about the cell phones.

In our school, we have a policy that we are alowed mobiles before and after school, but during recess, lunchtimes and during class, if they are seen then they are confiscated and the student has to bring a signed not from home to get it back. I believe this is the correct way to go.

I think students shouldnot due to the reasons in shool. It`s not only disturibing them but others too who are trying to learn.By Srija

I think it is dumb to not let us carry cell phones in school,what if somebody died and are family forgot the school’s number and only they knew our phone numbers so thats why I think we should be allowed to carry cell phones in school!!!

First off it is different if you have a cellphone in class of you just have it in your bag. I think it is all right to have it in your bag but useing it in class is just wrong!
Cell phones are a great way to cummunicate but don’t overuse them, thats all i can say

No, that is my simple anwser-for example my students are texting and calling people on their cellphones in class. They are getting bad grades and so are the kids around them because they are not listening to what i say and just watching their friend. First off the second thing i hat is that the kids are just using their cellphones to showoff, so the kids that are poor and don’t have a cellphone are dissaponted and very mad at themselves and their parents. I hate seing them that way so thats why i think cell phones should be banned- well sure the are great for cummunicating but people overuse them and just get brain damage and bad grades for sure- personally i think it is allright if the students have them in their bookbags but in class in a big “NOT”, i also think that the parents are to blame for they get their kid cellphones but don’t tell them when to use them and when to not!

I hate to do this, but I’m shutting down the comments for this thread. In recent weeks we’ve been getting comment vandals who appear to be students, sometimes multiple times a day. Sorry….

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