Today, cell phones seem to be a permanent accessory for most teenagers. However, this can pose potential problems to everyday learning, as teachers approach technology in different ways.
“At the beginning of the year, it’s kind of a struggle, but once they get in the rhythm of things, they seem to understand they are not allowed in here,” Haleigh Pate, English teacher, said.
According to the Cherokee County School District (CCSD) handbook, students can use their devices in the classroom when teachers deem it is appropriate for educational purposes. Students are required to comply with teachers’ requests to turn off their phones.
“The Clawprint” conducted a survey of students’ phone usage during the school day. Of the dozens who responded, more than half say they are unaware of any CCSD rules regarding phones. Students say that most of their teachers do not enforce the county rules.
“Most teachers don’t care, but I’ve had one or two every year that care,” Nate Johnson, senior, said.
Cell phones do offer benefits that many teachers find useful, as they provide easy access to apps like Canvas, Nearpod, Kahoot, and Microsoft Word, and are among the many used at Creekview, but these programs can easily be accessed by the laptops that many teachers provide. Using laptops eliminates the potential distractions personal devices pose.
“There’s laptops I can use, and I’m not dependent,” Hannah Martin, senior, said.
Students say that the easy accessibility of cell phones saves them precious class time. It is fast; students turn on their phone and open the app they need. However, students admit that doing schoolwork on their phones tempts them to open other apps that have nothing to do with learning.
“Phones keep me distracted and off task in class, getting me behind on my schoolwork,” Emma Pethel, sophomore, said.
Teachers also have to worry about students using their phones to cheat on assignments and are concerned about the growing lack of work ethic with students.
“I think that from first period to seventh period, the tests seem to get better grades. So, I think that they either talk or text about it. At least when they are in my class, I know that they are not taking pictures,” Pate said.
During the past few years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have been alternating between in-person and online learning. With students learning from home, many admit they relied on cheating as an easy way to pass. With this school year being face-to-face, some students find themselves going back to their old habits and using their devices to cheat in school.
“In 2020, during COVID, I cheated… and used my phone too much,” Sammi Martin, senior, said.
When it comes to learning, the debate is far from over on whether cellphones belong in the classroom.