OpEd: Are Phones a Distraction or Do They Help Students in Class?


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A student is on their phone in the hallway of a school.

Many students at Silver Creek High School have phones. Some students use their phones as a way to help them in school, while others find them to be a distraction.

While phones can be used for educational purposes, the privilege of using phones can also be abused. Students can spend too much time on their phones in class, using them for unrelated activities. Phones can be a big distraction and prevent students from completing their work. Although students can use their phones to help them understand their coursework better, phones can also be used for cheating and overall cause distractions.

When students should be working on their assignments, they can often be found using their phones instead. Scrolling through social media or texting friends can keep students from finishing their work, causing them to fall behind on assignments and struggle on tests.

Verywell Family shares that phones are nothing but a distraction to students. Using phones in class can also relate to students getting low grades. Students who use a device in class don’t pay attention to what they are learning, and end up not doing well on assignments and not understanding the topic. Using devices like phones during class can also make students not use their full potential because they are so distracted.

A Silver Creek math teacher, Carla McManaway, shares that she does not think students should use their phones in class. They cause more distractions than they do help them and the people around them learn.

“Typically the phones cause distractions, with students wanting to use them to watch videos, play games, chat with friends, send pictures … and all of those things distract from student learning,” says McManaway.

Other students being distracted on phones can also cause the whole class to get distracted.

“When I have to stop to take a phone away, that causes a break in the class and disrupts the learning as well,” shares McManaway.

But she also shares that there can be some benefits to using phones.

“When students are working independently, they could listen to music to block out noise so that they are more able to concentrate on the content,” says McManaway.

Phones can help some students meet their individual needs of struggling to concentrate and get work done, and in some cases using a phone in class can help them.

Kaelyn Vargo, an English teacher at Silver Creek, shares if she thinks phones can be more of a distraction.

“I think it takes away engagement, you’re missing out on key parts of class,” says Vargo.

Students who are often on their phones during class seem to not know what they are working on and are lost on the topic they are learning about.This is because they are not hearing important information in class.

“I don’t know if there is a need academically for phones,” says Vargo.

It can be nice to have a phone near in case of an emergency, but usually all they do is take away from learning opportunities in the classroom and cause more distractions.

Delaney Ritchey, a freshman at Silver Creek shares what her opinions on students using phones in class is. She says that students should be able to use their phones in class.

“I think that you should only use them when you’re not doing work or it’s already finished.” says Ritchey.

Students should be able to use their phones, as long as it is not a distraction to them or anyone around them

“Phones can cause distraction and not getting your work done. It can also be a distraction to others.” shares Ritchey.

Ritchey also shares that phones can be a distraction and cause you to fall behind. It can also be frustrating for the teachers because students aren’t paying attention and will be confused.

“You can socialize more with people and keep up with your daily life and it’s important to be able to have it with you at all times.” says Ritchey.

Students use their phones in school to communicate with other people at times they are not allowed to during class.

Phones can be a great tool for learning and communication, but they can also be a major distraction. It’s up to schools and teachers to find what works best for students and their needs.