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The Use of Mobile Phone inside the Classroom: A Help or a Distraction?


One of the advances in the communication technology that usually pose both an advantage and a disadvantage in certain situations is the mobile phone.

In the schoolroom the mobile phone is both a help and a distraction. In makes easy contacts between students with their parents in urgent and important situations. However, it distracts everybody’s attention in instances where everybody is concentrating on the lessons and the mobile phone suddenly rings.

The classrooms have been operating successfully for centuries in the absence of easy communication between parents and children. Then all of a sudden it seems that now the mobile phone has become a necessity rather than a mere added convenience.

Whether or not the mobile phone should be allowed or banned in the classrooms must be resolved now.

School is where the children are supposed to learn how to become independent and self-reliant individuals who can stand the challenges of life when at last they leave the campuses and live normal lives as adults.

It is therefore imperative that the children are separated from their parents during school hours and left under the custody of their teachers to maximize the advantage of the learning situation. The mobile phone can be likened to an extended umbilical cord of the mother to her offspring. It must not be allowed.

The role of a Teacher as the person in authority and the behavioral model for the learners to emulate must be reinforced. Allowing the schoolchildren to use their mobile phones while in the classroom will diminish the role of the teacher. A problem occurring in the classroom that can be resolved within the four walls would be brought to the parents and the norms of behavior in the classroom will be affected.

Of course, the importance of communication between the schoolchildren and their parents during emergencies and exceptional circumstances is also a necessity. Thus, some sort of a happy compromise can be reached.

The children may be allowed to bring their mobile phones to school. However, the children and their parents must be made to understand that the use of the mobile phones may be resorted to only in cases of emergency. An emergency must be understood by all concerned to mean “a matter of life and death.”

Moreover, it is probably better that the parents and the teachers have mutually agreed to list the mobile phone numbers of one another so that any call from the parents must be coursed through the teachers. In like manner the pupil must have to contact the parent through the teacher. This way, the whole class is not distracted because the teacher – the manager of the classroom and the learning situation – would have the discretion to set the proper volume of the ring tone and which calls may be allowed to go through or not.

It may also be helpful that the children deposit their phones in the possession of the teacher while classes are in progress. These could only be redeemed and used by the owners during noon breaks and when classes end and everybody leaves for home.

The mobile phone is now a part of life but it must not distract the schoolchildren from their lessons. TNRS
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