Although many school systems impose a ban on students' cell phone usage within schools for many good reasons, equally compelling reasons exist to permit students to use them. Everyone understands how the presence of cell phones doubles the noise and distractions in already noisy school buildings filled with restless youth. However, with the proper rules about student cell phone use, the phones can benefit students' education.
Since most students have cell phones, some of which have Internet access, school systems do not have to spend as much money buying and maintaining costly computer labs. Permitting students to go online for quick research during class reduces the need to resort to overburdened computer labs. Students whose phones have this capability could sit in class and use Internet sources for class assignments.
Notetakers or Recording Devices
For students who take notes slowly, camera cell phones can take photos of the blackboard, and phones with recording apps can record lectures. Other students can record entire class activities in both audio and video for absent students. Also, students can text upcoming assignments to themselves and their calendars.
Free Educational Apps
Many free educational applications, such as calculators and language-learning apps, already exist, so both teachers and students can take advantage of these tools to advance learning. It costs nothing to use these apps for school exercises, since many students already have these applications on their phones.
The Need for Phones in an Unpredictable World
We live in an unpredictable world and students need to maintain contact with that outside world via cell phones in times of disaster, such as bombings and bomb threats, storms, floods, tornadoes and shootings. Indeed many colleges now employ text alerts to its community for emergencies, and K-12 schools can benefit from doing the same. Also, students need to contact parents and other authorities, such as the police and fire brigade, during crises.