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Schools struggle with cell phone policies

        

It seems as though the majority of teens have a cell phone, and some schools have been struggling with creating cell phone bans and regulations. According to the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, even those who once were for having cell phones in classrooms are now changing their minds.

Paul Barnell, a Kentucky high school teacher, wrote an Education Week essay in 2010 because he felt cell phones in the classroom can be a positive and effective tool. However, his latest essay shows he has had a change of heart.

“While summarizing is a real skill, do we really want students to further fragment their thoughts and attention in this age of incessant digital distraction and stimuli with 140-character blurbs? Do we want students to spend even more time in front of a screen, bypassing opportunities to converse and collaborate face-to-face?” Barnell wrote, the news source reports.

However, other administrations believe cell phones are useful tools while in the classroom. According to CentralJersley, the Hopewell Valley Regional School District is considering a new plan in September that will allow students to bring their cell phones, laptops and tablets to school on certain days. These devices will be used as a teaching tool.

“It’s a reality that students are bringing their own electronic devices to school,” superintendent Thomas Smith told the news source. “In fact, the district technology department says that approximately 1,000 wireless devices are in use on our district network on most school days. Many teachers have incorporated these devices into their classrooms and we would like to support those who would like to expand their use.”

The school came to this conclusion after administering an online survey, which showed 91 percent of the respondents would take part in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program at the school and 89 percent reported they would be part of a program where the device was provided at the school.

What these schools decide is not up to the parents, and those who want to ensure their child is using their phone at the right times can install parental control software, which can monitor when a kid uses their cell phone as well as show texts, call history and photos. This way, a parent can ensure their child can always contact them in the event of an emergency, but they are also not using these devices at the wrong time.

        

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