Cellphones In The Classroom: Stay? Banned? In-between?

For this week’s great edtech debate in EDTC 400 the class discussed the topic  cellphones should be banned in the classroom. This weeks debate was different from the rest because there were three sides opposed to just two sides. The debater for cellphones should never be banned we had Cody Biever. The debater for cellphones should always be banned we had Kendall Schneider. Then we had a debater that is supporting the idea that cellphones should be allowed in high school only, Tiana Waldbauer.

These are the results for the pre-vote, I myself voted for never. I am surprised with these results because I thought most of the votes would be under never. 50% was under allowed only in high school, 44.4% was under never, and the rest of the votes were under always.

These are the results for the post-vote, I voted for never again. Considering I was shocked with the results from the pre-vote, I had not idea what these results would have been. 55.6% was under allowed only in high school, 27.8% was under never, and 16.7% was under always. The results changed a lot, and so did my thoughts on this topic (even though I voted for the same thing).


In the reading, Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity, there are some shocking stats that connect the relationship between cellphones and humans. 91% of people of say they will never leaves their homes without their cellphones. 46% of humans say they could not live without their cellphones. This reading also states that people look at their phones at least 85 times a day. This shows the amount of real world time humans are not interacting in. Kendall also shared that 20% of a student’s class time is on their cell phones.

The article Distracting, disrespectful side to cellphones in class make some good points on how distracting and disrespectful it is to pull out a cellphone in class. There are amazing educational apps that can be used to help students, however students main use of cellphones during class time are to play games or scroll through Facebook. A teacher’s job is to help students develop an understanding and with cellphones in play, it makes their job impossible and that is super disrespectful towards the teachers.

This picture above is from the same article and shows a group of students that DID NOT go on their phone during class did better on the quiz opposed to the group of students that were on their phone during class times.

The article, The Disadvantages of Mobile Phones in Schoolscontains a list as to how having a cellphone in the classroom can create some situations. This list includes cheating, cyber-bullying, texting, and sexting.

  1. Cheating: A student’s main focus on their phones is games and social media. As I stated above, Kendall shared that 20% of a student’s class time is on their phones. When it comes to tests, students are missing 20% of the class information which leads to students pulling out their phone during a quiz and going on the internet. Now that there are wireless earbuds, it makes it very easy for students to go on YouTube and listen to recorded information and not get caught. This may give students a pass in that moment, but they are not learning anything. Soon that 20% of missed class time will turn into 40% and then 60% percent. During finals, supervision is a lot more intense which will make it nearly impossible for students to cheat and this will lead to a possibility of failing the final exam and perhaps result into failing the class.
  2. Cyber-Bullying: Cyber-bullying is a commonly used way people embarrass and humiliate other people. It’s way easier for kids to hide behind their screen and attack their peers. Now a days it is so easy for kids to record something and put it on social media. This content then gets traced back to the school and harms the reputation of the school and staff.
  3. Texting: Texting is one of the most common things that take place in classrooms. Not only is the student that is texting not absorbing any information, but the students around this one student get distracted from it. They stop focusing on the teacher and focus in on the one student, then everyone starts pulling out their phones. Next thing you know the teacher looks at the class and everyone’s head is down, looking at their phones.
  4. Sexting: Sexting in an act of sending sexual messages and pictures. The scary thing is, you never know if this “private” content will stay private. It is so easy for people to screenshot messages/pictures and forward them to all their friends. This is linked to cyber-bullying for it embarrasses and humiliates a certain individual and it can cause a person to resort to self-harm.


In the article, Cellphones in the Classroom: Learning Tool or DistractionI


learned some how cellphones can be used effectively in the classroom. With the advancement of technology, there really is no limitations. There are so many ways a cellphone can be useful and helpful for both teachers and students. There are many educational apps that help students learn, time manage, become more organized, etc. Teachers can even combine technology with their lessons. Websites like Menti is a great way for students who are not so comfortable speaking out loud to speak up about the course material or ask any questions that they have been wanting to ask.

The reading, A blanket ban on cellphones in class would not be smart really gets me thinking on what would happen if cellphones were band. Although cellphones seem to be the main reason for distractions in a classroom, imagine the rebellion if they were banned from school entirely? Even breaks!? Teachers need to accept that technology is a part of this generation and it will probably always be around. Banning cellphones is not the answer, but finding a way to integrate them into the lesson is always an option. That way students get to play with there cellphones and learn at the same time. A positive tribe leads to positive vibes, am I right?


Supporting the idea that there needs to be less time banning cellphones and more time incorporating them into classrooms is Michelle McQuigge in her article, Should schools welcome cellphones in class?Banning cellphones will only make students mad and they are likely to not pay attention in class after their phones get taken away. It is important for teachers to give students responsibility by implanting rules for cellphones and sticking by those rules.


With this portion of the debate and the readings assigned, there is quite a bit of overlapping with the arguments Cody made. I don’t think that cellphones are necessarily bad in classrooms, they just need to be used properly during class. In Liz Kolb’s article, Adventures with Cellphones, she talks about some experiences as to why cellphones are beneficial in a classroom setting. Another handy thing, she gives a list of activities that combine cellphones with learning the classroom. Right now is a busy time in the semester, but I am really interested into looking deeper into these activities and getting some fun ideas for my future classroom!

In Willard R. Daggett’s article, assigned by Tiana, Preparing Students for Their Technological Future, he talks about focusing on the students. Teachers must to understand their students’ needs and clearly technology is one of them. With the coming up generation, they are growing up around technology and it is going to be very hard to avoid it. Therefore, teachers need to teach students how to use their cellphones effectively and share benefits in how they can use their cellphones to help them succeed in class.

In Tiana’s debate video, she also makes some great points as to why cellphones should be used in high school classes and NOT elementary & middle school classes. Cellphones send off Microwave Radiation (MWR), which has a negative impact on a child. It can result in health risks and developmental delays so to prevent this, less cellphone time is for the best. Cellphones can also cause a child to become depressed and lonely. Children become so dependent on their phones they never get to fully develop any social skills.  Another connection to mental health risks is cyber-bullying. As mentioned in Kendall‘s argument, cyber-bullying is the easiest form of bullying so it is commonly used to harass others. Cyber-bullying can lead to depression and even self-harm. Unfortunately cyber-bullying is commonly used through cellphones in elementary schools. This cannot be stopped completely but if cellphones were banned in elementary schools, the rates of cyber-bullying will decrease!


Wow… that is a lot of information to absorb! Honestly, I don’t know what to think. Although I voted that technology should never be banned, I still see major cons on having cellphones allowed in classrooms. I do though disagree with fact that cellphones should be used only in high school. This topic is not just something mentioned in class, it has been an argument for years and I think it will always be one. But I think if we teach our students the right way to use phones in school, as they are kids, they will gain responsibility and it will be less of a hassle and more easier once those kids enter high school. Avoiding cellphones in the classroom is nearly impossible, so teachers need to accept that and find ways to use these devices effectively in classrooms. The idea of cellphones can work with rules that are implied consistently and a balance between school work use and entertainment use.

Until next time,

Miss. Lorenz




2 Replies to “Cellphones In The Classroom: Stay? Banned? In-between?”

  1. Hey Kylie! Great post and summary of the debate! In response to your conclusion, I completely agree that we cannot avoid the topic of cellphones in the classroom, as it is happening whether we like it or not. Students will always try to incorporate their phones into the classroom, which can be both positively and negatively. I think that instead of denying students the right to have their phone in class, we should be teaching them how to use the appropriately. It’s almost as if we forbid the use of phones in the classroom the students will want to use them even more and go to extensive lengths to do so. There is a time and a place for cellphone use but I think the topic always needs to be explored!

  2. Hi, Kylie, this is a great post that sums up the debate really good! I completely agree with you I still do not know where I stand on the topic after finishing my blog post because there are so many factors that must be considered when making these decisions. I do agree with you when you suggest we need to start teaching our students young so they develop positive skills when it comes to cellphones and technology in general.

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