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时间:2020-02-06 14:32来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

Should Schools Ban Mobile Phones?

By Mario Ritter

04 February 2020

Mobile phones have changed the way we communicate, but people disagree on whether the devices are useful tools for education.

Students can be easily distracted by their phones during class.

Are they listening to the teacher or texting their friends? Are they taking a picture of a quiz to cheat? Maybe they are playing a game, or watching a video, instead of paying attention.

School officials, teachers and parents all are trying to find out the best way to supervise students' use of mobile or cellphones.

In the Canadian province of Ontario, officials are restricting phone use during teaching time. However, there are exceptions for classroom activities, health and other emergencies.

France passed a law in 2018 banning the use of cellphones in schools for students up to age 15, the age when they go to high school.

Last July, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law. It says state public and charter schools can ban students from using smartphones in class and at school. It does not, however, say schools are required to completely ban the devices.

The law asks school districts, charter schools and education offices to develop cellphone policies to prevent, or limit students' use of the devices at school. There are exceptions, which include emergencies or issues related to health and well-being2.

One high school, in California's Silicon3 Valley area, had a serious problem with students and their cellphones.

Joanne Sablich, a French teacher, said students using their phones in class had been a real problem. They were "checking their phones and texting-- going on social media," she said, and she would have to take the phone "over and over and over."

The schools vice1 principal, Adam Gelb, said some students were spending as much as 11 or 12 hours a day on their phones.

So, the administration turned to technology for answers. San Mateo High School now locks up cellphones during the day in a special container. Each student must put their phone away in a small bag with a magnetic lock. It is called a Yondr Pouch4.

At the end of the day, students unlock the bag with another device. The bag is being used in schools in both the United States and Europe. The cost for the equipment is around $20,000 a year for a school, or $12 for each student.

Teacher Joanne Sablich is happy. She sees a difference in students' behavior. She said they are "very engaged this year," instead of just looking at their phones.

Other schools are choosing simpler answers to the problem—they ban cellphones in classrooms. One of these schools is Forest Hills school district, near Grand Rapids, Michigan. School officials decided5 this school year to ban cellphones throughout the day, including at lunch.

Dan Behm is the superintendent6 of the district. He told the publication Education Week the reason why district officials put the ban in place. They "wanted to provide a clean break for students and not have the frenetic energy that can happen if kids start texting each other or social-media posts start going," Behm said.

They tried the ban last year as a test. Behm said they found that students said they were less anxious when they were not so attached to their devices.

Education Week found that more than 30 schools, and in some cases school districts, have put in place some kind of restrictions7 during the current or last school year. Districts across the country also have their own versions of phone restrictions both formal or informal.

One district choosing not to ban cellphones is Saint Marys Area School District in the state of Pennsylvania. Brian Toth is the superintendent of the small rural district. He told VOA, each teacher can decide whether, and when, to restrict students' cellphone use.

Toth said students have grown up with cellphones, and "it is our responsibility to teach them proper use for tools within the classroom." He added that schools are teaching about cellphones and how to use them with social media and the Internet.

"It is part of changing education for kids," he said. "As long as we teach them to use them responsibly."

The technology is here, Toth said, schools should use it to help students, and not fear it.

Words in This Story

distract – v. to cause (someone) to stop thinking about or paying attention to someone or something and to think about or pay attention to someone or something else instead

charter school – n. a school that is established by a charter, is run by teachers, parents, etc., and uses tax money but does not have to be run according to the rules of a city or state

district – n. an area or section of a country, city or town established by a government for official government business

frenetic – adj. filled with excitement, activity or confusion; wild or frantic8

anxious – adj. afraid or nervous especially about what may happen: feeling anxiety

proper – adj. correct according to social or moral rules


1 vice NU0zQ     
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
2 well-being Fe3zbn     
  • He always has the well-being of the masses at heart.他总是把群众的疾苦挂在心上。
  • My concern for their well-being was misunderstood as interference.我关心他们的幸福,却被误解为多管闲事。
3 silicon dykwJ     
  • This company pioneered the use of silicon chip.这家公司开创了使用硅片的方法。
  • A chip is a piece of silicon about the size of a postage stamp.芯片就是一枚邮票大小的硅片。
4 pouch Oi1y1     
  • He was going to make a tobacco pouch out of them. 他要用它们缝制一个烟草袋。
  • The old man is always carrying a tobacco pouch with him.这老汉总是随身带着烟袋。
5 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
6 superintendent vsTwV     
  • He was soon promoted to the post of superintendent of Foreign Trade.他很快就被擢升为对外贸易总监。
  • He decided to call the superintendent of the building.他决定给楼房管理员打电话。
7 restrictions 81e12dac658cfd4c590486dd6f7523cf     
约束( restriction的名词复数 ); 管制; 制约因素; 带限制性的条件(或规则)
  • I found the restrictions irksome. 我对那些限制感到很烦。
  • a snaggle of restrictions 杂乱无章的种种限制
8 frantic Jfyzr     
  • I've had a frantic rush to get my work done.我急急忙忙地赶完工作。
  • He made frantic dash for the departing train.他发疯似地冲向正开出的火车。
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