Editorial: Technology in the classroom

The Schreiber Times

According to a 2013 study of American teenagers by the Pew Research Center conducted by Mary Madden, Amanda Lenhart, Maeve Duggan, Sandra Cortesi, and Urs Gasser, 78% of teenagers have cell phones. Clearly, cell phones have numerous advantages, but teachers and administrators have had to rework and edit school policy to adapt to this modern phenomenon.

To deal with teenage cell phone usage, the current policy, as listed on pages 25 and 26 of the Rules and Procedures, states: “students are prohibited from using or having on or in an operational mode any paging device, mobile telephone, cellular telephone … or any type of telecommunications or imaging device during instructional time, except as expressly permitted in connection with authorized use in classrooms. While students are permitted to possess such devices during the school day, they are prohibited from using them in any manner which invades the privacy of students, employees, volunteers, or visitors.”

Even though teachers, faculty, and staff adhere to this policy, students often blatantly infringe upon it. In some cases, teachers cannot admonish or punish students, as they are unaware of  this cell phone usage. You’re probably familiar with one of the following techniques, the phone-inside-of-folder, or the phone-on-top-of-backpack, or perhaps the elusive phone-in-calculator-case. If that meant nothing to you, it can mean one of two things—either you’re a very good student, or you’re lying.

But who cares? This is not only disrespectful and distracting to students, but also incredibly rude to classmates. Members of The Schreiber Times have noticed students check their phones in class, and it was distracting and disturbing. It is in no one’s best interest to check one’s phone during class. If you’re not going to pay attention in class, at least let other students pay attention to the teacher and lesson.

The Schreiber Times urges students to make rational and just decisions with their cell phones, and to think in the best interest of all around them.