Sometimes back, people were against students owning a smartphone. Today, there is nothing we can do about it. Almost every student owns a smartphone. If they don’t have one, at least a family member has one. So, smartphones are not just here, they are here to stay. But should schools allow the use of smartphones? Some people will say no. They will say that smartphones will distract students from learning. What is your stand? Should students use their smartphones in school? Today, we argue that schools should allow the use of smartphones.
Advantages of allowing smartphones in school
- Improves student engagement
Traditional learning settings have limited opportunities to improve learner engagement. This can be solved through the use of smartphones. For example, researching on smartphones improve learner engagement.
- Improves learning
The use of smartphones improves learner understanding. This is because smartphones facilitate fun and interesting way of learning. The use of images and videos makes it easier to understand concepts. Also, students can access learning apps through phones. Students across the world use such apps to improve their learning.
Students can use smartphones to review notes. They can review shared notes and pictures to prepare for tests.
- To promote inclusiveness
Teachers can use smartphones to create an inclusive learning environment. Students have different individual needs. Teachers can use smartphones to cater to these needs. For example, teachers can use smartphones to explain concepts better for slow-paced learners.
- For entertainment
Students can use smartphones for entertainment during breaks. They can play games, listen to music, or watch funny videos. But there should be a time limit. Students need to engage in physical activities to refresh their minds. This also helps prevent health problems. For example, physical exercises during free time can prevent obesity. Schools should have a specific time when students can use the phone for entertainment. Again, teachers should monitor what content their students are consuming. Some content may be inappropriate. Teachers should also guide students on how to filter content. This way, students will know which content to consume and avoid.
How you can use smartphones in the classroom
- Share images
Images can explain a concept better than words. So, teachers can use images to improve students’ understanding of complex concepts. For example, teachers can use images when teaching about animals. Apart from understanding the content, students will also retain the knowledge. Smartphones are good for taking pictures. Teachers can also use them to download images. They can then share these images with students in the class. Students can also download the images with teacher guidance.
- Create videos
Teachers can use videos to improve learning. For example, they can record experiments and use them later in learning. Remember we learn more by seeing than hearing.
- Access news
Sometimes teachers need news articles in teaching. For example, teaching economics requires regular use of news articles. With smartphones in class, this can be easily achieved. With just a click, students can access the articles. But teachers should guide students in filtering content. Some news articles may not share reliable information. Such articles can mislead students. Teachers should guide students on how to select credible new sources.
- Quick access to a dictionary
Smartphones come with many dictionary applications. If you come across a difficult word, students can check its meaning instantly.
- Do class tests
With smartphones, students can do class tests and get instant feedback. This can help determine the knowledge of the students on certain concepts. It also helps determine the effectiveness of a teaching method. Smartphones also come with a timer. This feature can be useful when doing tests.
- Do research
Students can use smartphones to do further research in class. For example, teachers may ask students to look for more points through research. Again, teachers should guide students on the selection of valid sources. Academic sources are preferred for academic purposes.
- To read books
Gone are the days when students had to carry textbooks to class. Well, is there a need to carry heavy textbooks when you can read it from your phone? Most books are available online. With rights applications, students can get instant access to most books. Some books are only available in eBook format. For the books that are not available online, then students have to carry them.
- Sharing notes
Teachers no longer have to photocopy notes and share them with students. That should be a thing of the past. We are in a digital era. Work should be easier. Teachers should just use smartphones. Students can also use smartphones to share notes among themselves.
- Record lectures
Students can use smartphones to record lectures. They can then use the records to further understand what was taught.
The debate on whether to allow smartphones in school or not continue to attract opposing views. Some people argue that smartphones in school would be destructive. Today, we have looked at the benefits of allowing smartphones in school. One key advantage is that they improve learning when combined with traditional teaching methods. Another advantage is that teachers can use smartphones in different ways to improve learning. Still, there is a need for some regulations. Schools should have clear rules on the use of smartphones in school. This would ensure that technology is used to improve students’ wellbeing and not to harm them in any way.