Editorial: Phone Use Should Be Strictly Regulated in Classrooms

Jenna Reiber, Reporter

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A shocking 72% of teenagers check their phones right when they wake up, according to the  Pew Research Center.  And that’s just the start.

Phone use in classrooms is lowering the focus and the test scores of students, and it needs to be regulated for the sake of students’ futures.

Many students all over the world use their phones daily in classes. According to a study conducted by the Educational Psychology Journal, teenagers that are actively on their phones while a lesson is being taught get grades that are five percent (half a letter grade) lower than students not on their phones.

Any type of distraction in the classroom negatively impacts the amount of information students are taking in, which often leads to lower grades on tests and quizzes. If there is less phone usage during lessons, then students will be able to better their performance in classes. This would also allow students to be able to focus on information being taught instead of their next notification.

Teachers and administration are at a constant battle with students having their cellphones in classrooms. Since students are typically not allowed to use cellphones in the classroom, they tend to hide their device in pockets, their lap, their desk, etc. According to Sherri Gordon, a published author with several books focusing on teenagers in schools, doing so only allows the student to be half present in class, and they lose focus on what they are learning. 

When a student has their phone hidden from a teacher, it centralizes their focus from the subject being taught to keeping their phone activity a secret. That causes students to not fully learn the subject which often has a negative outcome on their overall grade.

According to CBS News, 35 percent of the 2,000 students surveyed used their cell phones to cheat on at least one test, and 52 percent of the students have used the internet to cheat in some form.

Cell phones have given students an easy and quick way to cheat on tests and to get homework answers. Cheating on tests can damage a student’s learning environment when they get into harder courses and do not feel the need to learn the material.

When a student does cheat on a test, it can affect the way that they learn new material. After getting away with cheating, students tend to assume they can get away with it every time and think they do not need to learn new material.

If a teenager was to get caught cheating with their device, it can have serious consequences and can put their grades at risk – even their future.

Phones can sometimes help with learning, but they should not be used in class unless the teacher gives permission. 

To better the school experience for all students, talk to your teachers and administration about stricter regulation of phone use in classrooms.  Consider emailing DTSD Superintendent Joe McFarland to toughen the rules on phone use at Hershey High School.