Last week’s debate was on cellphone usage in the classroom. Before the debate, I was pro cellphone usage. However, after listening to Tiana’s debate I was swayed. In her video that she made, she discussed how there’s micro wave radiation emitting from cellphones that are harmful to younger people. I was not aware of any radiation being emitted from cellphones and it’s scary to know! Luckily for me, adults are at a lesser risk of exposure.
The main reason I was so pro cell phone use before the debate was because as a student who learned English as a second language, there are many times I struggle with words. There are many words I do not know the meaning of or I just forget. As an education student, I should know what the word “pedagogy” is but for some reason, I am always forgetting the definition. Since I am constantly forgetting words or not know what they mean, I am using my cellphone to constantly look up definitions. In the past when smartphones were not common, I had to use the dictionary to search up definitions and for those who have used a dictionary before, you know just how time-consuming it is. Flipping through a huge dictionary can also be distracting to other classmates, even more so than cellphones. Getting up from my desk, going over to where the dictionaries were, putting the huge dictionary on my desk (sometimes not so lightly), and ruffling through the pages till I get to the word I am searching for. Smartphones have made looking up definitions so much faster that I simply cannot go back to using dictionaries anymore.
Although I am an advocate for cellphone usage in classrooms, I do acknowledge that it can be a huge distraction to students. In one of Kendall‘s articles, it talks about the “brain drain” hypothesis. Simply having the cellphone within reach can greatly hinder a student’s concentration. Ever heard of the phantom phone vibrations? It’s where you feel your phone vibrate but when you check there are no notifications or anything else that may have caused it to vibrate.
The phantom phone vibration is what came to mind when I read about the “brain drain” hypothesis. I am constantly pulling out my phone because I thought I felt a vibration, only to see my phone blank from notifications, and now I’ve been distracted from the professor’s lecture.
So how could we limit the “brain drain” in students? Cody had a great article that could potentially limit brain drain in students. Instead of just banning any cellphone usage in classrooms or even in schools, you should teach students to use it in a more responsible manner.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am one of those people who will want to do the opposite of what people tell me to do. For example, I’ll be on my way to do the dishes when my mom tells me to do the dishes. I suddenly don’t want to do the dishes anymore. If I had a cellphone in high school and the teacher told me not to use it, I would likely want to use it more than I was originally planning on using. I’m sure there will be many students like me so flexible policies will have greater results than just banning cellphones.
I really enjoyed last week’s debate and I can’t wait for tonight’s debate!