Staff Editorial: teachers should have a unified cell phone policy

Pony Express Staff

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Infographic by Tiffany Horwath

It is no surprise that technology is becoming more prevalent in people’s daily lives. The school encourages people to bring their own electronic devices from home, and most people have their cell phones on them or nearby at all times. With this type of abundant presence of technology in the lives of many students, teachers need to come up with a few concrete rules for cell phone use in the classroom.

While it can be debated whether social media sites are distracting or not, it can be concluded that there are plenty of educational opportunities online. Most teachers are starting to use the internet as a great resource in the classroom.  Most of them have cell phones and computers of their own as well. It has become so ingrained in our society.

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“We started with taking social media sites off the filter to avoid distraction, but I’m always open to an argument to change that. I just haven’t heard one yet,” said Coordinator of Educational Innovation and Technology, Jeff Brazee. “I’m open to different options, and if somebody has got a good, compelling, educational argument to open up social media sites, then I’m all ears.”

Teachers should know that students do not have to look in a textbook all that much anymore to find information. Most textbooks have an online version, and even if they do not, students can search the information of Google and find what they need faster. Teachers need to be able to trust their students to work on the assignment given to them or the task that they need to accomplish.

During a work time in class, teachers should not be allowed to dictate if a student is using their phone or not. If students use their time wisely, they will complete the assignment and earn a good grade. If students do not, they will not get their homework in on time and have to comply to the rules or policy for late assignments from that teacher.

Students should also be aware that when the teacher is giving a lecture or leading a class discussion, it is not a time when their phones should be out.”

— Staff Member

It is not only a distraction during these times, but it also it rude to the teacher or student that is talking. Some of the basic social skills such as eye contact and listening are lacking in today’s society due to the amount of screen time and the constant access to technology we have everyday.

Currently, the school has Facebook and Instagram blocked. Most students can see why the school would want to block the general category of ‘social media sites.’ Students can see that there is some educational value, but they also know all too well of the distraction that it creates during the school day. Even though social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be a source of news and current events, people mostly use those sites for personal reasons.

Students feel that the school should not block social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter, but instead teachers should teach students when it is appropriate to use your phone and when it is not. Students do not need to be on their phones when the teacher is teaching new material or doing an activity that requires students to be participating fully, such as a class discussion.