The Divide: To Allow or not Allow Cellphones in Classrooms

The education chapter was the chapter I have enjoyed the most thus far in reading Reclaiming Conversation. As I attended a Math and Science high school, the academics were taken extremely seriously and cell phones were not allowed in the majority of my classes. When I got into my first period class, it became first nature for me to put my phone in my backpack and not take it out until class changes or lunch. However, in college, I find myself constantly wanting to check my phone when I finish an in class assignment early or simply when I feel my phone buzz. I was in my senior year of high school less than 8 months ago, and it is startling to see how these mannerisms have changed for me. I agree with Turkle’s argument that despite there being “no phone policies,” people will continue to ignore them. I personally believe that setting these rules are not at all effective unless they are enforced. For some of my classes, if the teacher sees a student on their phone, they will ask the student to leave. Although this may seem drastic, I strongly believe that so much attention is taken away  in classes by people wondering what notifications could be on the screen or what could be trending on twitter. Moreover, I can relate very much to the section called “A Love Letter to Collaboration.” Almost everything is now able to be shared over the internet whether it is google docs, google presentations, prezi, etcetera. Turkle stated that when students turned in their work after only working on google docs, it was still good. While it may have been good, I do not believe that it was the best it could have been. For a few projects and papers in high school, we were required to meet up with our groups during class times. During these periods, my groups and I were able to collaborate and come up with amazing ideas solely from bouncing ideas off of discussion. The outcome of these projects I believe were much better than the outcomes of papers that were written on google docs with no face-to-face communication. “But the value of what you product, what you “make,” in college is not just the final paper; it’s the process of making it.” I strongly agree with this quote because for the projects where I was able to work directly with my group members, the process was fun and a learning process for me. Overall, I wonder how technology will change the future of education as this era of social media continues to progress. I can only hope that measures will be taken to try and save what is left of classroom learning, as it is a privilege many do not have access to.

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