In Victoria and many other states across Australia, the question regarding mobile phones has been raised recently. Should mobile phones be banned in schools?

Yes.

I don’t say this from the perspective of a parent with children addicted to their phones. Or a grandparent still in denial about those ‘stupid electronic things.’ I say this from the perspective of a student, studying in a school which recently banned mobile phones, and acknowledging the positive effects which it has had on the school community.

Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino, has announced that mobile phones will be banned in all state primary and secondary schools, aiming to, “remove a major distraction from our classrooms” and “stop cyber-bullying”.

At the school I attend, this could not be more accurate. Instead of students spending their recess and lunchtimes glued to their screens in the corner of the playground, they are forced to communicate, play on the oval, create new games to play and support each other. No longer do students who don’t have a phone feel left out, or students without the latest online game feel secluded.

Moreover, although cyber-bullying can take place outside the schools’ grounds at home, the ban on mobile phones stops students taking photos or videos of other people without their permission. Additionally, cyber-bullying primarily occurs due to peer pressure and eliminating groups of students working together to bully people online, could significantly reduce cyber-bullying.

Criticism regarding this decision has focused upon the importance of understanding and utilising technology in the modern world and that the use of mobile phones should be encouraged and applied within the classroom. Yes, technology needs to play a role within schools, but mobile phone use is not the answer. Physical activity is crucial to the development of students and communication is a vital skill after school; however, both of these things are diminished due to the presence of mobile phones within schools.

Technology such as robotics classes, education of software and program design, the use of large devices in classrooms such as laptops and tablets are all positive ways to implement technology within schools without the harmful distraction to students and the harm of cyber-bullying.

Therefore, mobile phones should be banned in schools.

2 thoughts on “Mobile Phones SHOULD be banned in Schools

  1. Simeon, a good article – thanks for sharing your views on this contentious issue. I’m not surprised that you expressed the views you did. I’ve certainly heard similar from other students in other countries.
    A couple of questions for you:
    a) On cyber-bullying, as a subset of bullying generally – do you think it’s best dealt with by teacher driven discipline or by development of a positive culture in which students practice empathy, neither becoming bullies or victims? I would suggest that bullying can always be addressed more effectively by positive strategies, rather than trying to force it out of schools.
    b) If mobile phones have changed the world, are young people made ready for that world effectively by simply creating an artificial ‘mobile free’ environment? As an adult, I need to manage my motivation and mobile use just as much as any young person (except our generation didn’t get any preparation for this) Even I have choices between going to the gym or playing a computer game, or reading social networking posts.

    Keep up the good work with your writing. it will do you good and be valuable for your peers to explore the key issues that matter today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mark, thank you very much for your kind words.

      I think cyber-bullying needs to be addressed through the development of culture among students and positive education for students starting from a young age. I don’t believe teacher driven discipline is successful as cyber-bullying can take place wherever and whenever, and often the ‘pack mentality’ of groups of bullies, teacher discipline can be ineffective.

      I think students are ready for a world with mobile phones and technology. Looking at any young person, they spend hours of time on their screens each day and young people are highly educated on the utilisation of all devices. I don’t think the banning of mobile phones for a certain period during school days will have detrimental effects for students regarding mobile phone use. In fact, I think this time provides students with the opportunity to practice and develop different skills such as communication, teamwork and relational skills.

      Like

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