Technology is taking over the classroom and there are a lot of opinions, policies, loopholes and rebellions. Its messy and can be frustrating, but it is an issue every teacher and student go in this day and age and I would like to touch on the subject.
In the average North American classroom today, there is a laptop for the teacher and maybe a smart-board. The students might have iPads or laptops available to them, or the school supplies list requested such devices. It is apparent, tech is used in the classrooms. These tools are a benefit to the learning experience of students and for the teaching efficiency of teachers.
The issues arise when it comes to the smartphones. On average, children age 10 get their first smartphone. Though I would assume before that age, kids are immersed into smartphone use. And we all know that come high school, students are practically attached to their phones. It’s no wonder why teachers are banning phones from their classrooms. No one wants to teach a room full of students with their eyes glued to their personal 5 by 2 inches of screen.
But here is why I stand on the progressive side of things. Kids with smartphones will one day be adults with smartphones. Who is going to teach them how to best use their smartphone?
I know this is a real issues because of the elderly. They have trouble understanding their smartphones, the correct purposes of them and therefore they make avoidable mistakes. For example, at times my grandparents will interrupt a conversation to investigate a notification they receive, whether it is important or not. They are found to spend too much time on their phones than is appropriate in social gatherings. Plus seniors are adding themselves into the social media world and they post, comment and share as often as the rest of us, just with less of a filter, for better or worse. (No wonder people can’t stand Trump on Twitter.)
I love my grandparents and the other elderly in my life, they are great at many things, but they are definitely lacking in the best ways to use their smartphones. Though they deserve some slack, they didn’t grow up with these devices, giving them the chance to learn what is appropriate and what is not.
Now considering our current students, would we not like to give them the education about phones they need in order to be socially correct, polite and efficient?
One would like to think parents and others in the leadership positions of children to be perfect examples of phone efficiency and etiquette. But we all know we are less than perfect ourselves when it comes to using our phones politely. Texting and driving, being on phones during meetings and other social gatherings, taking information on social media too seriously and forgetting where we are or what we are doing because our phones can distract us are not good demonstrations for the leaders of tomorrow.
Should we not take full advantage of the learning environment school provides to teach about the best ways to use the smartphones they already have in their pockets? Imagine the issues that would cease to exist! Their generation would look at ours and wonder why WE use our smartphones so poorly.
I am not suggesting full out courses on smartphone etiquette. Though I’d imagine a couple classes about phones at a younger age wouldn’t hurt. But I am recommending smartphones be used in the classroom. Due date reminders, Google translate, a second way to view the textbooks, calculator, camera, calendar, research, etc. are all simple ways we use our smartphones everyday, why not teach tomorrow’s adults how to use these tools best?
Today, students with smartphones are punished for bringing their smartphones to school which is understandable, as currently there is no lesson plan to implement the smartphones into the teaching. But as you can see, I believe this needs to be changed.
At Panda Rose, we are often using smartphones as they are needed to develop and test Apps and websites. We understand the importance of them for our world today and moving forward into tomorrow.
I am aware that I am not in the classroom right now attempting to get the full attention of two dozen 10 year olds. While there are hero teachers doing just that right now and we all applaud you. Who am I to tell you that your students all need smartphones at their desks?
Teachers know their students and will make the best decision for the entire class. Whether that means a no phones allowed rule, that smartphones can only be used in English class for dictionary and thesaurus uses or only at the end of the day to set up reminders and events to replace paper agendas.
Depending on the class, smartphone policies could be applied to fit the teacher and student needs as well as be a prime time for students to learn smartphone etiquette.
Let me know your thoughts on children using smartphones in classrooms, this subject is worth the discussion.