Impact of electronics in schools

The pros and cons of technology in the classroom

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Students on their cell phones during class. Photo courtesy of Google Images via Creative Commons

As the new school year begins, technology seems to be playing a bigger role in schools than ever before. It seems that electronics have now become essential to a student’s success in school and teachers are even requiring them in their classes. The way students get their news, information about classes, due dates, and homework are coming from their phones and computers. As helpful of a study tool as this may be, it could also be hurting the way students learn.

Freshman Chloe Miller says, “Students are definitely more likely to abuse their privilege to use their electronics, but they will use them as a resource when instructed to.” Miller adds, “ I would say they [electronics] are helping students because it allows them to have access to more resources and options to get info for research.” Having these devices on hand means there is a greater availability of local and world news, pictures, and videos. On the other hand, they can distract kids from learning and expose them to possibly offensive content. However, it is the responsibility of the student to make sure they are using the internet properly.

Junior Abby McQuillan says, “ I think the majority of students would actually use them correctly.” Even though technology is constantly advancing, it is up to the students on whether they are going to use them for good. McQuillan also says that technology is “definitely helping, you have the whole internet with help right in your hand.” Even though using technology can be a more efficient way of learning, it can also add to the stress of doing homework. McQuillan says, [using electronics for homework] definitely makes it a little more confusing, because there is so much out there and you don’t know exactly what your teacher wants.” Miller also added to this saying, “[It is]more confusing because having so many options makes it more difficult to choose which one to use for your homework and it might not always be correct.” Using a source that is not credible can lead to having incorrect or misleading information which is why some schools stick to old fashioned books.

This year, the French Parliament banned use of personal devices from all schools in France. Children going to school that are 3-15 years old are prohibited from using tablets or phones on school grounds. Jean-Michel Blanquer, the education minister in France told The Washington Post,  “We know that there is phenomenon of screen addiction, the phenomenon of bad mobile phone use.” Blanquer also added, “Our main role is to protect children and adolescents. It is a fundamental role of education, and this law allows it.”  These laws are meant to shield children from phone addiction and to detach them from their screens.    

Even though France is making efforts to keep the use of devices out of schools, Prince William County has no laws regarding what electronics you can and cannot bring to class. As of right now, it is solely the teachers or schools decision. Although devices have their upsides, they can be easily be abused by students and can grow to cause more problems in the future.