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Are Cellphones Allowed In West Michigan Classrooms? — Joe Knight’s Insight

flickr, dullhunk

What a morning! I was up with a teething baby most the night and decided to check out our Channel Facebook page after putting her back down to sleep.

I noticed a couple unhappy comments from some listeners about a topic I did yesterday on the show, and that I am never happy about upset listeners. I do not like to offend any listener in any way, it’s just not my style. Many who listen to my show know I love to have fun and you are the most important part.

But as a new parent, my sensitivities to things that I have never understood before come to life and it is tough to stay without an opinion. I learned from my Fiances brother that his school allows him to have cellphones in the classroom. WHAT?! Why? They have phones in the office in case of an emergency. What do they need phones in the classroom for?

Many reasons were given by some teachers who called in, even by a woman who was offended with my very direct opinion. I applaud her for taking the time to share her opinion, and I am truly sorry I offended you.

I understand technology and how it is used every single day, in fact our studio is full of computers and buttons, so I have to understand it a lot. Phones are a great tool in every day life, even for myself. Great in case of emergencies and even better when you just want to look some info up. All great things in theory for classrooms… BUT THEY ARE NOT.

No argument in the world would make my stubborn head believe that having a device with the power that a phone has in the classroom is a good thing, and I’m sure most of us have a phone and know it’s capabilities. But for those who do not have one, I’ll explain.

Other then the obvious of making and receiving calls and text messages, they provide audio, video, the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Porn sites, sporting sites, gambling sites, gaming sites, ect.), they take pictures/video and they also provide a status symbol. What a great tool no doubt, and would be good in a perfect world, but this is not a perfect world.

Lets go back to some of the stupid things that high school students would do in class. Remember just a few year ago when we would tear up spit wads, or pass notes and they would get us in trouble. Those were just a few things we could and would do.

So we know we like to talk in class, its been happening since school has existed. Communication is human nature, that cannot be disputed. Now imagine how all that communication on one little device could disrupt the classroom. The noises they make, even on vibrate, or all the different ways they can talk to their friends without paying attention to the teacher and taking attention of other kids away from the teacher with what is on their phone.

Sure they can help a person get online, that is the only real value they would have in the education process since paper and pencil still work and the office still has a phone in case of emergencies. What about the sites on line that you can’t restrict since you can’t restrict the students phone? Better yet, how about the few people who do not have a phone?

A 2010 study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) showed that American students are deficient in their nation’s history, with “only nine percent of fourth graders correctly identifying a photograph of Abraham Lincoln and stating two reasons for his importance. WHAT?! Until we fix that problem we cant even to begin to teach technology.

What about the recent study that 70% of teenagers keep their on-line activities a secret from their parents, so why would they not keep them from their teacher?

Again, I understand technology is huge and we need to learn it, but their are other devices besides cellular phones that can be provided to get on to websites that are not restricted. Cellphones are fine if left in the locker but not good for the majority of 15-18 year old kids to have in the classroom of 30.

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