Are Cellphones a Valuable Tool in the Classroom or Just Another Distraction?

Istvan Tamas


Istvan Tamas, Staff Writer

Living in an innovative society, technology is introduced into our classrooms. Smartphones can be used as an educational tool, but the matters of distractibility, possible shortage, and reliance all outweigh the positive aspects of having a cellphone used in an active place of learning. 

Cellphones can be annoying and disturbing. The loud chimes of ringtones and Facebook videos not only distract the class but most teachers tend to call out the student and delay the lesson. The average American spends four hours of their day on their phone. Any time you check your phone, you’re likely to find something else that is stressful waiting for you, which then leads to another craving, feeding into an infinite cycle of mindless Twitter scrolling. Teachers try hard to keep the attention of their students and phones would make their jobs even harder. The attention span of any regular social media user is significantly lower than someone who does not use social media every day. The classroom should be the one place where distractions are halted. An educator’s job is to prepare their students for the real world ahead, even though technology will be easily accessible in the workplace, cellphones are a commodity appliance used more for pleasure than the occasional research paper. In my personal experience, I use my phone for nothing other than calling my parents and texting my girlfriend, which is not classroom appropriate. Writing an essay on a cellphone is too turbulent and for me, it’s a lot harder to stay on task. If cell phones would be introduced as a class tool, the campaign on instituting them into the classroom would have to be flawless and truly controlling. 

 The question at hand is whether cellphones in the classroom are a valuable tool if properly used they can be but the probability of getting distracted outweighs the probability of getting the work done. The few that do not have cell phones or the many who do not have wireless data for their phones will be kept out of the extra, useful tool. The active threat of cyberbullying rears its ugly head giving more opportunity and time for students to do it. Then decreasing the chance of teachers finding out who it was. 

Cell Phones distracting the class is inevitable but erasing the rule which keeps cellphones out of the class will only make it worse. While to some they are a great tool, the fate of academic integrity is at stake. Our prosperity is already fixated on small screens in strollers and iPads at home, it is time to take a step back from the apps and allow for a focused and direct form of development to take place.  



New York Times Source:

Price, Catherine. “Putting Down Your Phone May Help You Live Longer.” The New York Times, 24 Apr. 2019, Accessed 14 Feb. 2020.

Outside Source: 

Myers, David G. Myers’ Psychology for AP. 2011. Second Edition ed., 41 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10010, BFW Worth, 2014, pp. 460–519, 753–807.