The Debacle of the Decade: Cellphones in the Classroom


Cell phones and teachers go head-to-head in the battle for students’ attention in class.

When walking into a classroom, one might expect to see students learning, engaging, talking, and laughing. However, in the age of technology and social media, instead of students listening attentively or collaborating with their peers, many instead have their eyes glued to their phone or computer. In recent years, omputers have become a vital tool for learning, phones, however, are becoming inhibitors of it.

Not all students fall victim to the distraction that is their cellphones. For most students though, it is near impossible to ignore the urge to pick your phone up and scroll through it during class. Teachers can especially attest to how difficult it is to keep students engaged while they are teaching. “I do think that cell phones are a large distraction for students and that it makes things harder on teachers, especially when it comes to teaching and having students pay attention,” said science teacher Samantha Whitehead. “Phones being out don’t bother me, however I do think it tempts students to go on them.” 

Some teachers choose to see the benefits of cell phone use during class, as long as they are used for the appropriate reasons. Other than flying, cell phones can do basically everything, which includes being helpful throughout academic work. There are numerous times when cell phones can be used to complete an assignment or task. “I do see phones as a crutch that students use when awkward situations arise. I don’t think that they are a hindrance to learning and I try to make a clear distinction for when it is okay for them to be out and to be used,” said literature teacher Matthew Lundy. “I do think students should use them as tools to find more information in research, however I don’t like when students use their phones to simply find answers and not think critically.”

Even some students recognize the strong hold that cellphones can have on them. Many students admit that in unpleasant situations, they resort to being on their phone. Having that option can bring a sense of comfort to students and removes any feelings of awkwardness. “I think a lot of students now tend to be on their phones, even subconsciously,” said junior Christiana Campbell. “I do think that we should connect more with each other, just by talking, but I do think that phones connect us in some way and that we shouldn’t shame the use of cell phones altogether.”

Phones in the classroom can both help and hinder learning. How each teacher handles technology in their classroom is up to their discretion, however it is important to remember that phones can be very helpful if used correctly. And while students may like their ability to whip out their phone in any uncomfortable situation, some Dubs just need a little more face time, and not the type on your phone, like actual face-to-face time.