should teachers ban limit the use of smartphones in the classroom 1

Step 1:

Slowly and carefully read through the two articles below on the subject of smartphone use in the classroom.

Step 2:

Once you have carefully read both articles, write a short essay (600-800 words) that answers the prompt below.

Should teachers ban/limit the use of smartphones in the classroom?

Your essay should include:

  • An introduction with a hook, background information and a thesis that directly answers my prompt
  • 2-3 body paragraphs that follow PIE structure, starting with a Point that is an opinion, using quotes from the articles as Information and Explaining the quotes thoroughly.
  • A conclusion that restates the thesis and gives a final thought.

Step 3:

Submit your Essay for grading. Be mindful of the clock. I will not accept any essays past the 2 hour time limit or by email. Remember to do your best, as your grade on this will not change.

Also, remember that using any outside sources is forbidden and will result in a 0 on this assignment.

Article 1 :

Why we should ban kids’ smartphone use in school

Banning smartphones in schools isn’t a plot to quash technology but a way to immerse young

students in the world of direct communication and physical reality.


Steve Koppman | March 12, 2019 |

Mercury News

France is implementing a smartphone ban in schools nationwide. England mandated a similar

ban after widespread local adoption. Israel too.

Maybe we should join them.

Studies demonstrate significantly improved academic performance follows removal of phones

from schools. Lower-achieving students benefit most, narrowing the “achievement gap.”

Research finds U.S. teens — their minds still forming — average six to nine hours a day online.

Half tell researchers they are on phones “all the time” and half similarly feel “addicted”

(smartphones stimulate addiction-generating dopamine). Many go to sleep and wake up with

them. Seventy-five percent of teachers surveyed assert student attention spans have dropped in

the last five years.

Is this not a crisis?

We have enough research data to know young people’s development benefits from time away

from an all-consuming internet, which absorbs attention and obstructs learning. Smartphones

impede students’ concentration and engagement with people in their presence — arguably

schools’ key purposes.

As James Steyer, a noted technology activist, puts it: “Tech companies are conducting a massive

real-time experiment on our kids.”

Learning to get along without digital media, to depend directly on themselves and each other

without electronic distraction several uninterrupted hours a day, could be the most important

training we can give our young people before sending them into an uncharted and potentially

uncontrollable technological future.

Banning smartphones in schools is NOT a Luddite plot to outlaw the devices or quash

technology but a way to immerse young students, for a big chunk of their early lives, in the

world of direct communication and physical reality. To benefit from what is inarguably great

about technology — potentials to improve health, increase longevity and alleviate disability, for

example — we need some control over it, including: Stop letting it bring up our kids.

The decisive question of our age will likely be: Will technology serve humanity or be its

uncontested master? Technological colonization of children’s minds from an early age seems

increasingly real. We can defend them best through public education.

Why do we have public schools? To give every young person a chance to learn and develop,

regardless of origins, social status, or family or personal problems. Ensuring children learn to

operate in long uninterrupted periods, independent of smartphones, the internet and social media,

is vital to this mission today.

No other institution can do this. Many kids get no other buffering from the electronic world.

Many parents are on smartphones constantly themselves. Schools can offer an oasis and

demonstrate alternatives.

U.S. school phone policies vary all over the map by district, school and teacher. Policy closest to

the norm lets students bring phones to school but bars use in class. Students can “legally” use

phones before and after class, at lunch, and during recess and (usually) “passing periods.” They

may carry phones or store them in backpacks.

But phones create new classroom cultures. Many students check them furtively several times a

period. Classroom energy is drained as they do this, or consider it, while teachers keep repeating

themselves. Having phones available with these fluctuating rules creates “cat and mouse”

dynamics during classes and a return to smartphone-centered life when they break. Teachers

avoid sacrificing class time on “enforcement” but phone use still typically is a top discipline


Alternatively, a thousand-plus schools nationally (including, in the Bay Area, San Lorenzo High

and El Cerrito’s Korematsu Middle School) have, like France, “banned” phones throughout the

school day, storing them in inaccessible lockers or “pouches,” and restoring access at 3 pm.

Adult testimony suggests this can make profound improvements in learning, class dynamics and

human relations. Surveys confirm most parents support removing smartphones from schools. If

boards and schools don’t act accordingly, voters and civic groups should launch local initiatives

on this issue so critical to our kids and our future.

Steve Koppman has worked as a government analyst at federal, state and local levels. He holds a

master’s degree in public policy from UC Berkeley.

Article 2:::::::::::::::::

Why Professors Shouldn’t Ban Smartphones


Matthew Lynch – May 24, 2017;

The Edvocate Magazine

As smartphones have become more common, educators have struggled with the question of what

to do with smartphones in the classroom. For K-12 educators, the answer has been to ban

smartphones from the classroom completely. College professors have also banned smartphones

in increasing numbers. But now there’s some evidence to suggest that banning smartphones in

the college classroom isn’t such a good idea.


study conducted by researchers in Singapore found that undergraduate students who were

allowed to keep their phones with them actually scored better on tasks that measured their

cognitive functioning. Even when they weren’t allowed to use their phones, students who were

allowed to keep their phones in their pockets performed better than students whose phones were


In this case, researchers theorized that the poor performance by students without phones was due

to a kind of smartphone withdrawal. When students had their phones taken away, they may have

been anxious about missing out on something—a text message or friend request, for example.

This anxiety could take students’ minds off of what they should be learning.

Smartphones could have academic uses

While professors may be quick to ban smartphones, it’s rare to find a professor who doesn’t

allow laptops in the classroom. Most professors who allow laptops but not smartphones would

likely argue that laptops can be used to take notes or for other academic purposes. However, as

smartphones have become more powerful, they can do many of the same things.

Microsoft Office has long been the standard for productivity, and for years it was only available

on PCs. Today, many smartphones can run Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel,

and PowerPoint. Smartphone users can also find a wide variety of apps that replace old paper-

and-pencil methods. There are apps for note-taking and calendar apps that students can download

for free.

In some cases, smartphones are even better than laptops. In addition to being easier to carry

around, smartphones have features that laptops lack. Smartphones enable students to instantly

snap photos of anything the professor presents, such as charts, pictures, and diagrams that may

help them understand concepts when they study.

Smartphones are also a great tool for student who like to record lectures. Students no longer have

to carry around a recording device—they already have one in their pocket. Listening to those

recorded lectures is a lot easier with a smartphone, too, since students are never far from their


Smartphones are always handy

The fact that students always have their smartphones with them actually makes their phones a

better tool. Anything that students save on their phone, whether it’s a recorded lecture, class

notes, or pictures, is accessible anytime.

Cloud-based apps, like Google Drive, have made it even easier for students to access information

on their phone. Students can store anything they want on the cloud using their phone, then go

home and review what they saved on a laptop or tablet.

Banning smartphones might be impossible

Any professor who’s tried to ban smartphones can attest to the fact that it isn’t easy to get

students to give up their phones. There will inevitably be students who try to sneak their phones

in anyway or refuse to hand them over. This can lead to wasted class time, as professors are

forced to argue with students or impose consequences on those who refuse to comply.

Ultimately, trying to ban smartphones is nearly impossible. When it is possible, it can end up

taking up more time and effort than it’s really worth. After all, if college-aged students are so

distracted by their smartphones that they aren’t learning, it may be time for them to learn a lesson

about using technology appropriately in the form of a lower grade. Smartphones, like laptops, are

a tool—they can be used for academic purposes or can be a detriment to learning. It’s up to

students to find ways to use them correctly.

Can professors make smartphones a useful classroom tool, or are they too much of a distraction?

Tell us what you think