4 Effective Ways for Teachers to Keep Students Away from Cellphones in Class

5/14/2014


There is an ongoing debate on whether students should be allowed to take cellphones to school. However, the answers of such a debate have become futile as students seem to be unstoppable when it comes to using cellphones anywhere, including in the classroom. Many information dissemination campaigns have been conducted to discourage students from using their electronic gadgets while classes are going on but to no avail. Students simply love to use their smart phones anytime, anywhere.


Must teachers just give up their attempt to stop students from texting or surfing the internet inside the classroom? Most teachers believe that there are ways and means to stop learners and other students from being distracted by their mobile phones.


One way of making students forget about their phones when classes are going on is to penalize students who are caught using their mobile devices in class. The teacher can let the class decide what the most appropriate penalty is for the guilty party. One teacher told his class that the one being caught using his cellphone would have to buy snacks for all students on his row. That teacher succeeded in stopping anyone in his class to send text messages or call their friends. Perhaps, students were reluctant to spend money buying snacks for their classmates or perhaps, they realized that the teacher knew what they were up to and did not like it. Whatever their reasons were, it seemed that this teacher’s strategy was effective.


Another way of making students stop their itch to use their mobile devices is by giving points to the users every time that they are caught in the act of using their gadgets. The points they made will be deducted from their scores every day. The teacher can assign a student or two to police their classmates in their table or in their row. The teacher must show that he is serious by gathering the list every day and recording it. In most instances, students avoid texting or net surfing for fear of losing points in class.


In some schools, students are requested to leave their cellphones in one designated place in the classroom and they are only allowed to retrieve them at the end of the class. Those students who protest such measure argue that they might have an emergency call in the middle of the class. This sounds reasonable but what could be the direst emergency that young students can expect? When a teacher insists on this ruling, most students would waver and just give up their phones before classes start.


Consulting with parents with regards to classroom policies on mobile phone usage will make students realize that they cannot just disregard the policy of the school. In addition, during enrollment time, the child with his parents should sign an agreement that states clearly the school rules and regulations against using of mobile phones in the classroom. Most parents would agree to the idea and would support the school’s efforts to ensure that their children get what they paid for, which is quality education.  

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