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Cell Phone Usage

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Many people today are constantly using some form of cell phone or other electronic devices and are beginning to wonder whether or not cell phones should be allowed in schools. Some say that cellphones should be allowed in schools because they create a more efficient use of time and things can get done immediately. However, one might argue that cell phones should be banned from schools because they can be disruptive as well as contribute to students having a short attention span.

Cell phones should be banned from schools because they can be disruptive to the learning environment. The article, "Cell Phones and Text Messaging in Schools," states "Ringing cell phones can distract students who should be paying attention to their lessons at hand." If students' phones are ringing in class, it not only distracts the student who owns the phone from learning, but also distracts the other students in the classroom who are trying to learn. The article also states, "Text message has been used for cheating. And new cell phones with cameras could be used to take photos of exams, take pictures of students changing clothes in gym locker areas and so on." If students are using cell phones to cheat they are taking away from their learning experience and would not really learn anything.

Cell phones are contributing to the cause of children losing focus and not being able to pay attention to things for extended periods of time. The article, "Cell Phones in Classrooms? No! Students Need to Pay Attention," states, "A study released in January 2010 by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that total media exposure per day for young people ages 13 to 18 increased from 7 hours and 29 minutes in 1999 to 10 hours and 45 minutes in 2009." The use of media in general, as well as cell phones by themselves, has continually increased over the years. With smart phones that can be used for multiple tasks, the amount of time spent on cell phones especially has grown with people using them to text, call, take pictures, use the internet, and so on. Also found in the article, "The great majority of them admit using some combination of two or three of their cell phones, laptops, televisions, and ipods while studying. Out of a class of 25, only one or two still value shutting everything off and focusing completely on their work." Students are constantly multitasking by using multiple devices at once which shortens their attention spans. With students going back and forth between devices while multitasking it is what they become accustomed to. "In 2009, Stanford researchers studied the cognitive capabilities of media multitaskers and came to the following conclusion: 'People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time."

Some say that cell phones should not be banned from schools because they can be a valuable learning tool and make for a more efficient use of class time. Stated in a recent St. Petersburg Times article, "Florida School Allows Cell Phones in Class,"



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