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No Cellphone Ban

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on September 13, 2018 13:21

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France has taken the one sided decision of banning students from using cellphones in school.


To start off the school year, France has banned students ages three to fifteen from using cellphones in school. This decision has garnered praise worldwide, many foreigners wanting their own school systems to emulate France. However, instead of banning cellphones altogether, there should be a global initiative to prohibit cell phones during recess and allow them in class.

My middle school teachers would integrate technology into the curriculum. Once, the class was solving a difficult math problem. We divided into groups and our assignment was to make a short video of our solutions. We videoed our work with a cellphone and combined the clips using a smartphone movie maker. The digital and creative skills I learned from this project benefit me today.

It is common to examine substances under a microscope in science classes. My teachers would encourage us to take pictures of what we saw with our phones. These photos would aid us in writing lab reports and studying for tests.

But the downside of cellphones became apparent during recess, when students would scroll Instagram instead of talking to each other.

Every innovation comes with pluses and minuses. It is indisputable that using cellphones for the wrong purposes (such as social media) have negative effects on children, ranging from a decline in social skills to difficulties paying attention.

But banning cellphones completely would be a disservice to youth. Cell phones can be used for constructive purposes in schools,  like using the mobile calculator and playing educational games. Moreover, these activities prepare students for adulthood, when they will become even more reliant on their devices.

A convenient tool to send emails and schedule appointments, cell phones are used frequently in professional matters. Digital literacy is especially critical in STEM fields, which offer the highest paying jobs. People who aren’t digitally knowledgeable are disadvantaged in our competitive world.

Schools should reconcile the benefits and consequences of cellphones by requiring students to store them during recess. During class, students could use their devices for educational purposes.

It would be a win win situation: by prohibiting cell phone use during recess, French kids can actually play and socialize instead of being glued to their screens. By fostering digital literacy in class, students will also learn to thrive in our modern, technological era.

Allowing cellphones in class would also prevent these devices from gaining the status of a forbidden fruit. As a teenager myself, I can tell you that banning something makes kids more inclined to disobey, regardless of the risks.

Furthermore, where do you draw the line between what you can and cannot ban for child welfare? Do we ban fast food in schools to prevent obesity or staircases to keep students from falling down?  Everything comes with a hazard.

France has positive intentions when implementing the cellphone ban, but they have forgotten what we are all fighting. There is nothing wrong with using technology to enhance education. The problem arises when children would rather play with their phones than their friends.

 

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on September 13, 2018 13:21

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Source: WPRI 12

BOSTON (AP) -- The state Senate approved a bill Thursday that would require drivers in Massachusetts to put down their cellphones...

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