Should cell phones be allowed in the classroom?

The use of cell phones in classroom has been an ongoing issue. Both students and faculty are divided over the use of them in the classrooms.

According to Celeste Howe, a mature student taking a Business Administration major in Marketing, cell phones should not be banned from the classroom.
She uses a cell phone to keep in touch with her family and says it is good for looking for jobs and potential employers.
“I don’t know why others have their cell phones on. I have mine on to stay connected. I may be waiting for an important call.
I am currently looking for a job, so a potential employer could be trying to contact me. My parents are older, my kids are in daycare, I want to make sure if something is important that I am easily reachable,” said Howe.
Students’ opinions about cell phones are divided. Some says cell phones should be on in the classroom, while some says cell phones should be off.
According to Howe, the problems with cell phones is that are that they can be disruptive. She said students are all adults so they should be able to establish cell phone etiquette for the classroom.
“I can’t live without cell phone. My life is based on my cell phone,” said Howe. She uses her cell phone to keep up to date with planner, alarm clock, calendar, phone numbers, device, birthdays, and facts on the internet. She has her Bible on it, GPS, and dictations.
Howe said cell phones can also be a very effective way of communication.
She said professors should set a policy at the beginning of the semester.
Howe said cell phones are useful in the classroom. They can also help students to connect to their textbook online and on DC Connect.
According to Virginia Harwood, a teaching and learning specialist at Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment (CAFE), teachers and students need to incorporate technology into the learning environment.
She says an advantage of using cell phones is that information is better remembered and it is delivered in multiple ways.
She gives lectures and PowerPoints as examples.
She said smartphones provide equal opportunities for active learning and immediate access for research purposes, including multimedia in the classroom.
Students can also use smartphones for polling and surveying. Smartphones can also provide collaboration in the classroom.
She said smartphones can provide an equal opportunity for all learners and for learners to check their own understanding of the content or topic.
While she said there can be disadvantages, there is academic research to support that when students use smartphones for purposes other than active learning in class, they can be a distraction.
“The advantage of smartphone is to provide students the opportunity to take notes,” said Harwood. “They can provide wonderful learning opportunity in our classroom.