Background Stats

Before the advent of cellphones and laptops, kids were the biggest distractions to each other in the classroom. They would pass notes and talk over the teacher, but technology has significantly changed the source of where they are becoming unfocused. Getting distracted by technology is increasingly becoming easier as companies produce new software every day. 88% of teenagers aged 13 to 17 in the U.S. have access to mobile phones, so phones are a distraction that most teenagers will face. The Pew Research Center even claims that 43% of teens text at least once per day at school. As more students are getting their phones at a younger age, this number will probably continue to rise. There is also a growing concern from parents that teenagers are addicted to their devices, as teenagers spend an average of 9 hours on media every day according to CNN. Much of that time is spent on their phones, leading to many kids neglecting their studies.

The Bad

Obviously, texting while a teacher is lecturing distracts students from learning many of the materials. Since at least 64% of teenagers have texted during class, phones definitely can be a problem in the classroom. They are also distracting outside of the classroom, as they have made many teenagers sleep deprived. 87% of U.S. High Schoolers don’t get the recommended amount of sleep (8 to 10 hours), and phones are a big reason for this because so many teens use their phones in bed. Since there is a release of melatonin when a blue light is emitted from phones, they make it harder for teenagers to sleep. However, there is a case that phones and technology should be in the classroom.

The Good

Whether the technology is helpful in the classroom is still up for discussion. Many students use laptops because they find it easier to type than writing. Others keep their agendas on their phones to keep tasks in line. Besides organization and preference, mobile technology can improve a student’s educational experience. Since many future jobs will require technical experience, incorporating it into the curriculum can certainly benefit students. Technology in the classroom can also give students greater access to information immediately, and keeping textbooks on devices can be very convenient since all school resources would be in one place. With all this said, classroom technology can still be quite distracting.

Should Phones be Banned from Schools?

Phones have been banned in the classroom at the majority of schools, but not many schools have banned them completely. A study from the London School of Economics noted that test scores of students aged 16 improved by an average of 6.4% when schools completely banned phones. It also concluded that this type of ban mostly benefits the students who are easily distracted by their phones. The ban does not have much of an effect on the top students. Their last main point was that that banning phones could be a cost-effective way to decrease educational inequality.

Phones and technology are always going to be a part of children’s lives now. There are many benefits and cons of technology in the classroom, but students are the ones who ultimately decide on whether they will be distracted or not.

Jessica Connors

Jessica Connors

KidGuard’s sole mission is to protect your children online. Our team spends every waking hour thinking about how to bring awareness and inspire solutions on issues of cyberbullying, online predators, teen suicide, and chilhood depression in the age of technology. KidGuard employs a team of researchers and writers to educate parents on solutions to digital parenting problems and also runs a popular child cell phone monitoring software to allow parents to stay involved in their child’s life online.