Background Stats
Prior to the advent of cellphones and laptops, kids were the biggest distractions to each other in the classroom. They would pass notes and talk over the teacher, but technology has significantly changed the source of where they are becoming unfocused. Getting distracted by technology is increasingly becoming more difficult as companies produce new technologies every day. 88% of teenagers aged 13 to 17 in the U.S. have access to mobile phones. The Pew Research Center even claims that around one third of teenagers are texting in class on a daily basis. As more students are getting their phones at a younger age, this number will probably continue to rise. There is also a growing concern from parents that teenagers are addicted to their devices,as teenagers spend an average of 9 hours on media every day according to CNN. Much of that time is spent on their phones, leading to many kids neglecting their studies.

The Bad
Obviously, texting while a teacher is lecturing distracts students from learning many of the materials. Since at least 64% of teenagers have texted during class, phones definitely can be a problem in the classroom. They are also distracting outside of the classroom, as they have made many teenagers sleep deprived. 87% of U.S. High Schoolers don’t get the recommended amount of sleep (8 to 10 hours), and phones are a big reason for this. Since there is a release of melatonin when a blue light is emitted from phones, they make it harder for teenagers to sleep. However, there is a case that phones and technology should be in the classroom.

The Good
Whether technology is helpful in the classroom is still up for discussion. Many students find it easier to type than write and use laptops. Others keep their agenda on their phones to keep their tasks in line. Besides organization and preference, mobile technology can improve a student’s educational experience. Since many future jobs will require technical experience, incorporating it into the curriculum can benefit students. Technology in the classroom can also give students greater access to information immediately. Keeping textbooks on devices can also be very convenient since all school resources can be in one place. With all this said, it is the decision of students to decide their phone usage.

Should Phones be Banned in the Classroom?
The use of phones in the classroom has been banned by many schools, but not many schools have banned them completely. A study from the London School of Economics noted that test scores improved by an average of 6.4% when schools banned phones. It also concluded that this type of ban helps the students who are most easily distracted by their phones. They are the ones who can improve the most in their scores, but the ban really does not affect the top performing students as much. Their last main point was that that banning phones can be a cost effective way to decrease educational inequality.

Phones and technology are always going to be a part of children’s lives now. There are many benefits and cons with technology in the classroom, but students are the ones who ultimately decide on whether they will be distracted or not.

Author's Bio: 

KidGuard's sole mission is to protect your children online. Our team spends every waking hour thinking about how to bring awareness and inspire solutions on issues of cyber bullying, online predators, teen suicide, and childhood depression in the age of technology. KidGuard employs a team of researchers and writers to educate parents on solutions to digital parenting problems and also runs a popular child cell phone monitoring software to allow parents to stay involved in their child's life online.