Students tend to divert their attention when they are using their smartphones or laptops while in the classroom. They tend to only have present in class and do not concentrate on what the teacher is teaching. Technology should not be removed from the learning equation since that would contribute negatively to the student's performance by alienating an essential part of the student's ability. The use of smartphones in the classroom could be of great benefit if adequately utilized and can also have a negative impact. This essay discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of using smartphones in the classroom and the various ways that can be implemented to help the teachers and students to deal with the distracting nature of smartphones in the classroom.
The use of smartphones in the classroom is essential since they could be used for lessons. Smartphones can be used as learning equipment by the students such as the use the calculator during a mathematics lesson which helps the students to carry out different calculations easily. Smartphones can also be used by teachers whereby they create test questions, and the students text their answers back which can also be easy to track the student's answers ("6 Pros & Cons of Technology in Your Classroom").
The use of smartphones in the classroom is also important since they can be used in doing research. Through Google, students can do further research on areas that they do not understand in the classroom. The Google Search App enhances the student's understanding since it also has a voice search feature. Students can research information on different subjects online which helps them gather relevant information and hence enhances their level of knowledge ("Teaching with SmartPhones").
Smartphones help in the communication process. In case of an emergency, the students can easily contact their teachers and parents as well. The students can be their brother's keepers. For example, when one of their classmates is absent, they can contact him/her and try to find out the reason for the absenteeism. A student can also forget his homework at home and can use the smartphone to communicate with the parents and have the homework delivered to school
Most teachers believe that smartphones are a form of distraction and not a learning tool that can be used by the students especially if the smartphone is connected to the internet. Students easily get distracted in the classroom while tweeting, texting, or snap chatting while in the classroom. Monitoring the student every time to be able to determine if the student is using the smartphone for learning purposes may be quite difficult for the teacher and tiresome as well. The smartphone may distract other students in the classroom as they may quickly divert their attention from what the instructor is saying or discussing and concentrate on what their classmate is doing on the phone ("5 Problems With Technology In Classrooms").
The use of smartphones in the classroom could negatively affect the student's performance. The smartphone may hinder the student from critically thinking as they tend to google every question they encounter in the classroom to get the answers. This contributes to the poor performance of the student since during the exam period the students are not allowed to use their smartphones, and the students cannot think in greater depth ("6 Pros & Cons of Technology in Your Classroom").
One of the ways that the teachers and the students can do to reduce the distracting nature of smartphones in the classroom is the use of filtered browsing on the student's smartphone. This will help reduce the level of distraction that may be caused by the student accessing certain websites or platforms which will divert his/her attention. The teachers should always ensure that all the smartphones have filtered browsing and students who do not adhere to such rules should be punished. While in the classroom the students and teachers should ensure that their smartphones are in silent or vibration mode. This will help prevent a situation whereby in case of a phone call it does not ring out loudly distracting everyone who is in the classroom ("From Distraction to Engagement: Wireless Devices in the Classroom") .
To help reduce the distractions of the use of smartphones in the classroom the instructor should ensure that they make the classes interactive in every way possible whereby the students get engaged in group work, discussions or other classroom activities. This will ensure the students have less time to divert their attention as group discussions can be entertaining as well and therefore the students fully participate in what is being discussed.
To help reduce the distraction caused by the smartphones the teacher should ensure that they set reasonable goals that every student is supposed to achieve at the end of the day. Creating of guidelines and expectations for the students and being persistent about them is essential as it helps ensure that the students respect the boundaries of the teacher. It limits the time the student spend on their smartphone doing activities that are not of benefit to them.
In conclusion, the use of smartphones in the classrooms has both its pros and cons. The advantages of using smartphones in the classroom are that they can be used for lessons, research activities and be reached in case of an emergency. The disadvantages of using the smartphones in the classroom, on the other hand, is that it affects the student's performance, and distracting to the teacher and classmates. Teachers and students should always ensure that the phones are in silent mode, reasonable goals should be set, and the classes should be interactive to help reduce the distractions caused by the smartphones.
"5 Problems with Technology in Classrooms." TeachThought, 27 May 2016, www.teachthought.com/technology/5-problems-with-technology-in-classrooms/.
"6 Pros & Cons of Technology in Your Classroom." Top Hat, 21 Feb. 2018, tophat.com/blog/6-Pros-cons-technology-classroom/.
"From Distraction to Engagement: Wireless Devices in the Classroom." Home | EDUCAUSE, er.educause.edu/articles/2009/12/from-distraction-to-engagement-wireless-devices-in-the-classroom.
Pomerantz, Jeffrey, and D. Christopher Brooks. ECAR Study of Faculty and Information Technology, 2017. Research report. Louisville, CO: ECAR, October 2017.
"Teaching with SmartPhones." Powerful Learning Practice, 21 Nov. 2012, plpnetwork.com/2012/11/21/teaching-smartphones/.
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