Phones are great, but they’re also shit.
Phones can be very beneficial to one’s social life, safety, even education. But there’s a fine line between our phone’s benefits and its negatives; just as you can use your phone to better yourself or entertain yourself, you can also use it during class, use it to bully people, or even without realizing it, get lost in social media, in comparing yourself to others you see online. But I’m not here to talk about how phones can be bad, we all know how phones can be bad, I’m here to talk about why phones can be good and why schools need to lift their bans on the usage of phones on school grounds.
Disclaimer: This is not to be used or based on students generally below middle school (ages 13-14)
I don’t know about others, or how other schools work, but my school schedule has a lot of free periods in between lectures. Not gonna lie, I’d love to be able to use my phone in school without being constantly paranoid of a teacher spotting it, I mean, I still use my phone in school, I just do it behind my teachers’ backs. I’m not gonna be shy about saying that I want to entertain myself while waiting in between my lectures. Yes, I’m going to use my phone to play with, no, I’m not going to go to the library and utilise every freaking second of my school day and be super super productive and be that perfect student every parent wishes their child was. I want to, unapologetically, use my phone and listen to music and socialise with my friends.
Secondly, I can’t even count the times I was in class and wanted to Google something about a certain topic we were talking about, a certain word I wanna translate or even spell check something and couldn’t because ‘I’m in school’. And I’m 100% sure that that wasn’t just me struggling with this. If schools want to ban phones, the least they could do is be reasonable about when to ban it, and make it very clear to students why you’re banning it. Being vague about things is never a good idea.
And come on, how many times were we in school and wanted to call our parents to tell them that we’re going home with a friend or going out after school but couldn’t because we had to ‘wait in line to use the school phone because as long as we’re in school, we’re the school’s responsibility’
Trusting a student with their usage of phone can be risky, I understand that. However, I also understand that it’s a school’s role to raise kids to be responsible, accountable and to honour their words. One way to do that is to; first, let them know when to use their phones and when not to, don’t forget to also add why they can’t use their phones, otherwise it would just be a bunch of bullshit being spewed at students. Second, tell them that they’re going to be treated like adults and actually given the freedom to use their phones, as long as they’re not harming anyone or disrupting their general educational day. Three, inform them that, if the above rules were broken, the school would have no other choice than to take the phone from the student till the end of the class/ day, whatever seems more fit.
Disclaimer: don’t take a student’s phone beyond school hours.
- That is not within the right of the school.
- You never know what may be going on in a student’s personal life that would require their phone to be with them.
- That’s not teaching them a lesson, that’s just plainly being an asshole.
The most basic rule to teaching a student to do something, is to first tell them the rule, help them understand why things are the way they are and only punish them when they break it. Otherwise, schools will never be able to accomplish anything.