I loved participating in the debate on whether or not cell phones should be banned in schools. Out of all the debates, I think this one was the most “even” one. In other words, both debaters were very justified in all of their points, and the side which I believed was right kept flipping back and forth throughout the entire debate. Even when it came time to vote at the end, I was still trying to make up my mind!
Specifically, an interesting contrast in the debate was that Darrian’s argument was to reduce student’s access and time to an inevitable addiction by banning phones, whereas Kylie’s argument suggests that we need to teach students how to cope with an addiction rather than avoid the problem. A quote that I love from Kylie’s article entitled “Schools Say No to Cellphones in Class. But Is It a Smart Move?” is “have a plan, not a ban.” It is important to work with students, not against them, and have a plan of dealing with the progressions of our society.
A solid argument that wasn’t really brought up in the debate is the fact that pretty much all phones now come equipped with cameras, bringing the issue of privacy and confidentiality amongst students and staff alike. Darrian’s article, “Ban on Cellphones in Schools: No Brainer,” briefly discusses this concept. I brushed over this in the debate when I brought up the fact that my former high school had a ban on devices with a camera written in the fine print (so fine that most people didn’t even know about it or care). Going back, I would be interested to hear what my classmates think of this argument and whether cell phones would be such a big issue if they didn’t have cameras (hypothetically speaking).
One other loophole that I thought of in regards to this debate is making cell phone use less appealing. I will admit that I don’t know a lot about technology, but perhaps schools could create more secure Wifi passwords or restrict Wifi use to school devices only. While students could still listen to music and text, this would prevent students who have small or no data on their phone from using social media.
I’d love to hear any thoughts on the arguments I’ve brought up, and can’t wait to read my classmates’ reflections on what they liked and disliked about the “The Great Edtech Debate!”