Cell phones have become an essential part of everyday life. With cell phone use increase and the improvement in cell phone technology, students are becoming dependent on them. They have also infiltrated into school systems, sometimes becoming a helpful tool to students of all grade levels. Although cell phones can be used as a tool in schools, more often than not, they have become a distraction. Cell phones should not be allowed in schools because they distract students and inhibit learning, keeping students from reaching their full learning potential. Students with cell phones in classrooms seem to be more distracted during class. Whenever a phone lights up signaling a new text, or other notification, students feel compelled to check it out and reply, taking essential time from the teacher. Christian comedian Tim Hawkins once commented that babies of this generation are going to be born with arms outstretched in the selfie pose. People are so accustomed to having a cell phone that nowadays it has almost become a part of them.
Whenever a cell phone lights up, it is the equivalence of the bell in Pavlov’s dog experiment to the average high school student, but instead of salivating, they instinctively grab their phones to see what came up. But what does that have to do with education? With cell phones in classrooms, the students are going to be distracted every time a parent texts them, a friend snapchats them, a teacher sends out an assignment in Google Classroom, or a random notification pops up on their phone. Each time they will look at their phone because they can’t help themselves, and that will take their focus from the teacher and break their train of thought. Whenever a teacher drones on while lecturing students, the students become bored, and what do they do? They pull out their phones, potentially losing information that is essential to their class, or life, later on. Students of this generation have a very small focus window, a time that they are able to focus, which means that it is harder for them to pay attention in classes where the teacher lectures. Unfortunately, the go to action during this time is to pull out cell phones and use them, which means that important information is going in one ear of the students, and out the other.
This information is later apt to be on the test, or students might even find out that the problem would show up many times throughout their career. Americans value education, but the only reason they value it is because students are supposed to learn through it and set themselves up for success, not just sit in a classroom for seven and a half hours a day. Students with cell phones in the classroom are likely to take their phone habits into future workplaces, slowing production, adding extra time to their work day because they didn’t finish their work for the day, or even being fired because they are not meeting their quota for the day, week, month, or year. According to Phillippa Lally’s study, it takes approximately sixty-six days to form a habit. Students distracted throughout the school day because of their phone will find that they have formed a habit, and will therefore be distracted with their phone throughout the workday. This will slow down their productivity and even cause them to be punished because they are wasting time on their phone instead of doing what the employer is paying them for. Nobody in their right mind is going to say, “just a minute, I have to beat this Candy Crush level right after their boss tells them to do something, but a lot of times people think like that. I personally feel the need to finish something on the internet before I start a chore, and then when I get to it, I forgot what I was supposed to do, taking minutes sometimes from what I was supposed to do. Cell phones cause inefficiency in the workplace and often distract employees because they have already been in the habit of checking their phones regularly. Although many students may use their cell phones as a useful tool for many things such as fact checking, they can also be used for stuff like cheating or plagiarism.
There are many sites on the internet with answers to thousands of worksheets and tests. Many students use Slader for “help on their homework, or in reality, copying answers from the internet. Or students could look up websites and take whole passages of text and claim it as their own. A lot of times, copying or plagiarism is against the law and has some harsh consequences, including fines that are sometimes more than some people make in a year. Not only fines, but people are more likely to not trust employees or students as much after they commit an act of plagiarism, including expulsion from many high end colleges. Although students can still commit acts of plagiarism and cheat without their phones, with cell phones in classrooms, the technology used to help students in their cheating endeavors is that much closer and easier to access.