Absolutely they should, phones are a part of our world, they are useful tools, and students use them anyway. If you were to walk through a public space, regardless of where, you will most likely see people using their cell phones. They are everywhere, absolutely everywhere, and they are not going away. According to Pew Research’s article, released in January of 2014, 90 percent of adults own a cellphone. Obviously cell phones are everywhere and a part of adult life, so shouldn’t schools prepare students for use with them as they do with anything else in life? Schools could teach students how to use cell phones respectfully, how to moderate usage, and how to not get into trouble with them. Students should be taught social etiquette with these devices, such as not using cell phones while someone else is talking, or during a class lecture. Why not teach kids about the times they can use their cell phones respectively? During the free moments in class and times of boredom, there should be no reason why a student should not be allowed to use their phone. Teachers who have a stigma against the usage of cell phones should adapt to the changing world and technology in school the same way they have in the real world. Students should also be taught to safely use their cell phones, understanding there are risks that come with them. We should be educated on how to change our phone’s settings to make certain aspects anonymous, and we should be taught certain important facts, like phones aren’t as safe from viruses as computers. Students need to know the precautions about what they send and with which apps, so that they understand what is safe and what is risky. Most importantly, students should be taught how to use their phones as the invaluable tools that they are.
If students were instructed on how to find reliable information quickly and easily using their phones during English class, research papers could become a breeze-through item in daily class. Students could also be shown how to use their phones in science classes to instantly create data tables and graphs right on Google Drive, without ever having to use an individual computer. Understanding the ins and outs of smart phones could make school and workplace tasks easier. This is especially important. In the workplace you are expected to have knowledge of your phone and be able to use it competently for practical uses. Whether its making conference calls or sending out an email blast, you need to be self-sufficient in using your phone, and no employer wants the person who can’t keep up with the rapid pace of technology.
Finally, students use their cell phones anyway, so why not just simply allow them to? Why should we punish students and give them detentions for using their phones in class? How does this help them learn more productively? Sure, by taking away their phones you prevent them from being distracted by them, but would this serve any real purpose to their learning? All that this teaches them is that their lives will be controlled and that they will have no responsibility for their own actions. People need to learn that if they don’t pay attention and use their phones instead, then they are the only ones to blame; don’t make it the teachers’ responsibility.
This all leaves us at a sort of tipping point: do we allow people to get punished for doing wrong, or do we preemptively ban any possible wrongdoing? I say we let people make their own decisions as we try to get them ready for the job market.