Effects of Smartphones on Schools

by Florian Baessler

Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular and are increasingly becoming part of daily life. Three quarters of teens have access to the device. Smartphones can be used as phones, but they also have games that can be played, the internet in case you need to look up something, and music that can you can listen to.

Unfortunately, the more popular smartphones are, the more people experience its negative effects. A lot of negative effects are about your health, as smartphones are damaging to you and worsen your posture.

The largest negative effect of smartphones is simply the distraction they can create. In a lot of cases, an app is a lot more interesting than schoolwork. A smartphone has a large number of apps that can differ a lot from all the others, each creating their own distraction.

As an addition to this, a national survey showed that most kids use smartphones primarily for entertainment. A different survey has also shown that even if someone doesn’t actually do anything on the smartphone, they lose focus whenever they receive a notification or message. Not only does it distract the person who is actually doings things on his/her smartphone, but everyone around them. Smartphones can also be used to cheat on tests or quizzes, since a lot of questions can be answered simply by looking them up on the internet.

Most of the positive effects of smartphones in schools are in their internet access. Smartphones also have a few apps that can be used for learning. A lot of those apps are helpful because of how interactive they are. Students like interactive assignments mainly because it makes them appreciate the topic more and thus encourages more motivation.

Smartphones can also reduce the amount of textbooks needed to be carried. They are also very helpful for digital lessons, but at the same time could distract you from the lesson just because it’s on the smartphone.

Schools have mixed feelings about smartphones. Some ban them, some don’t do much about them, and some encourage them. In a survey, only about 16% of schools used smartphones for assignments. In this school, for instance, most teachers interviewed are okay with them as long as they aren’t distracting or used to cheat on tests. Most schools, even those who encourage them, would still see their distractive potential and wouldn’t want them used unless they were part of the assignment.

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