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Mobile Phones in the Classroom - Safeguarding Tips and Essentials

Mobile Phones in the Classroom - Safeguarding Tips and Essentials


Within the education system, mobile phone usage and possession has become a widely discussed topic among teachers. Many people believe that mobile phones have no place within school, let alone classrooms. On the other hand, some individuals may argue that the benefits are effective when looking to adjust to a modern society learning approach. To produce a clear and efficient strategy to this problem, we must look at both the advantages and the disadvantages of allowing phones in schools.


Firstly, the main issue with phones is simply proposing another distraction. Students are already exposed to all sorts of distractions within the classroom. Whether it's other classmates or computers, having these additional interruptions will diverge concentration onto something unrelated to the lesson. This therefore, will bring the quality of the lesson down, as your students will be too deep within their screens to be able to listen to important lesson content. This may also lead onto another possible problem, which is students having the ability to look at restricted materials and inappropriate websites/apps.


Using mobile phones allow students to have more freedom. In addition, being able to contact or be contacted by parents or guardian is important from a safeguarding standpoint. Having that connection from students to another contact will aid in many things. Aspects such as emergencies, or even just a simple text to confirm a change of plans are all supported by the use of mobile phones among students. However, this can interfere with the student's head-space and concentration throughout the day. They may feel the need to check their phones every now and then for an update, causing a spike in anxiety, which limits their learning capacity.


We also must consider the use of phones outside the classroom. With today's society having options to pay without cash, nearly everyone tries to, with it being more convenient to have it on your phone. Therefore, mainly for secondary-school students, it can be used to pay for snacks/lunch throughout the day, and transport getting home. This prevents the need of carrying cash, making payment more accessible.


Parents are unlikely to get behind the idea of a mobile phone ban as being able to contact your child whenever puts your mind at ease, and also prevents any issues that may pop up down to lack of communication. For example, a child needs to tell their parents about staying behind after school, either for extra work, or an after-school sports club. This is easily done with a simple text or call. However, academic progress and overall concentration levels among students can be jeopardised, with them having the option to play a game, or go on a website at any point in class.


Mobile phone management is a tricky topic to approach. There needs to be a sweet spot in the middle of both arguments, where students can contact a parent or guardian if needed to, whilst maintaining full engagement to lessons. A policy can be made, where students may bring their phones into school, but must switch them off and put them in their bags. If a child is seen with a mobile phone, it can be confiscated and is available to them at the end of the day. This eliminates having it at their fingertips in class to be distracted by. Contact can also be made via reception if needed, where a parent can call up and either speak to them over the office phone, or pass a message on. As we are adjusting to a technology-rich society, educators must understand its benefits, so students can get the best out of their education.