Gone are the days when having a smartphone in the classroom was resulted into confiscation and detention. But now, many schools are increasingly accepting it as a useful learning tool. While a handful of kids get a laptop for daily work in a classroom, many use smartphones as they are on the go. And also when they are given internet access, there are many educational apps that encourage students to learn anytime and anywhere.
However, when students are provided with such privilege, it is not easy to make them limit the use of their phones to academics only. Like other methodologies, smartphones have their own ups and downs no matter who (teacher or student) uses it.
Advantages of Using Smartphone
Let’s look over some of the advantages of using smartphone in a classroom, first.
Experts agree with the fact unanimously that no teaching method is perfect but using a tool that students are comfortable with is amongst the most effective teaching methods. In today’s world particularly, students are familiar to smartphones like a basic pen and paper. Therefore, it is easier to tell students to look at their phones rather than flip through monotonous book pages.
Bringing Life to a Classroom
With the help of audio and visual capabilities of a smartphone, education has become more entertaining and lively for disinterested students whether kids or teenagers. Visual learning via music, voice, and video images is a quite efficient way to understand difficult concepts for confused students. And eventually, it makes the teaching process a lot more engaging.
The use of smartphones is a ready source of debatable answers. When the students get any questions, it becomes much easier for teachers to find the answer and get it resolved by just a quick glance at their smartphone. Not only that it saves time, but exposes learners to extra information on the spot when they search for it.
Social learning/ Group Study
With the help of a variety of virtual chat-rooms and texts, and online groups; smartphones encourage students to work in groups. They are allowed to share important information and their discoveries on common subjects, projects, assignments. While they all are moving together towards one goal, notes must be shared in a manner that they all are comfortable.
In addition, students get connected to other like-minded students around the world to broaden their minds and expand the scope of their thinking as well.
Disadvantages of Using Smartphone
Unsurprisingly, students always get distracted while using smartphone for learning by new mobile applications. More often they are likely to get distracted by mobile application like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Other than that, there are many game applications and video streaming applications which affect students’ concentration in the classroom.
Cheating in Exams
Cheating with the use of cell phones is increasingly becoming a huge issue in many schools. Student can either text answers under their desks, view notes, or even use internet to find answers to the questions in test. Teachers always need to be very conscious regarding the matter or else the student will be facing serious consequences from school.
Inappropriate Contact and Cyberbullying
If possible, it would be really difficult for teachers to stop student view their phones in the classroom. Since the digital world could be dangerous for many students, it convinces them to share inappropriate imagery. Eventually, the young students find themselves the target of cyberbullying. Use of phone ins the classrooms may expose young learners to such dangers inadvertently − contrary to the goals of educators who are devoted to the safety of their students.
In the end, it won’t be wrong saying that the use of cell phones is more helpful to students than its downfalls. Educators should not band the use of mobile phones but guide students on how to use it for improving grades. Teachers can acquaint learners with some quirky ways to enhance knowledge with the use of technology (mobile phones). A cell phone is not much bad as a gadget, we just have to find some better ways to use it.
Adam Harvey is a Los Angeles based reporter who covers technology, social media, politics, sports, eco-travel, etc. he graduated with a bachelor of arts in creative writing, and a masters of arts in Journalism. Besides, he backs various online institutions for offering online life experience degree programs because he believes in the equality of individuals in society.