The usage of cell phones, particularly in high schools, is a double-edged sword. Cell phone technology has many qualities of merit, but it also has many negative qualities that are undesirable in an academic setting.
The pros and cons of having cell phones in high schools show the importance of having them, and outline the major reasons why they are unacceptable. Cell phones have come a long way, with current technology transforming them into tiny computers. When utilized to their maximum capacity, cell phones can be tremendous tools, but when they are used more for their fun abilities, they do not belong in high schools.
The debate over the use of cell phones in high school will continue until a clear cut decision can be made. For the time being, the two sides are built upon the cell phone’s abilities, however used.
The major cons of having cell phones in high schools are related to the use of it for purposes that are anti-academic.
Cyber-bullying is a major epidemic in today’s society. The use of cell phones, which the majority of the students possess, can be quickly turned into tools of corruption. Cell phones can be readily used to take unflattering pictures, send incriminating videos, and utter threatening or otherwise disparaging remarks.
This form of bullying has replaced the physical bully and offered anonymity and non-stop availability to harass and belittle fellow students. Cyber-bullying makes the school environment unsafe for many students, and every student has the right to education. They also have the right to attend classes free of persecution based on their gender, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or any other item deemed different by a select few.
Cheating is another problem that has always plagued high schools. Now, thanks to the use of cell phones, cheating has a new and improved forum. Cell phones can be used to send answers electronically to other students in class, or answers can be sent to students from a student at a computer in the library. Cell phones can provide an unfair advantage for students to achieve grades that are undeserved, causing a fraudulent hierarchy in post-secondary education that compromises the integrity of the educational system.
Cell phones are also a con in the high school setting because they are a source of distraction. They limit the ability of the student to concentrate, as they are constantly checking their phone to see who is calling or texting. If they are not turned off, the ring can be a distraction (especially if it is ‘unique’ in some fashion), and even the vibrate setting can be loud and distracting for others in the classroom.
When a student has their concentration disrupted, they are missing out on the lesson being taught, which is very disrespectful to the teacher and the educational institution in general.
Cell phones also provide a distinct disparity within the social classes. Many students may have cell phones, but some will have the newest and most expensive phones, while others may have older, less desirable models. Some students will not have cell phones due to their economic situation, which can bring about embarrassment. The capabilities are not the same between cell phones, so they do form a split between the student bodies.
A burgeoning concern is ‘sexting’, which is sending lurid photos amongst the population of the school. In some instances, students are trading photos of other students in various stages of undress, much like students used to trade baseball cards of their favourite players. Not only is this disgusting, it is also criminal (depending on the ages involved, pornography legislation is called into action).
Their improper usage is the main reason for the con side of cell phones in high schools. Many of the pictures and videos taken by students with their cell phones are done so without permission, and then these likenesses are being uploaded onto the Internet. This major Human Rights issue can cause many hassles amid the school community.
Cell phones do have some merit, however. The pros for using cell phones in high schools include the safety they provide in terms of emergencies. Many students have cell phones, and these can be used in a state of emergency. Cell phones can be used to notify the authorities from anywhere in the building should something be horribly amiss, and students can send messages to others quickly that can bring about assistance if required.
They are a very resourceful tool, which is a pro for high school students. Cell phones can be used for Internet research, as a calculator or calendar to help plan homework, and are portable. The small, compact nature of cell phones, particularly smartphones, allows students to take their homework assignments with them, and can save on the school’s budget. With the usage of cell phones, schools can eliminate the need for so many bulky old computers that are not nearly as quick or powerful as today’s smartphones.
During a lesson, students can also use their cell phones to record the spoken portion of the lesson, and play it back later to help them get their notes in proper order. This will immensely help a student that is not an auditory learner.
Cell phones are a part of society, and they are not going anywhere, but their use in high schools is still a source of great debate. The pros and cons are very apparent, and it may take a while until one side prevails over the other.