The issue of whether to ban mobile phones in schools has stirred up controversy. Some argue that banning phones can mitigate certain negative effects, while others contend that phones can have positive roles in educational settings. Today, let's analyze whether mobile phones have adverse impacts on schools, particularly regarding their prohibition during classes.
Disruption of Classroom Order
- Most students lack strong self-discipline. They get engrossed in online games, making it difficult for them to detach. During classes, they frequently use phones and earphones to listen to music, disregarding teacher lectures and class discussions, which seriously hampers learning. In our class, a few students secretly place their phones in their pockets, thread the earphones from their clothes to their ears, and position their textbooks to obscure the teacher's view while listening to music. It's hard to detect if you're not observant. Some even play online games during class, oblivious to the teacher's content.
Impact on Learning and Health
- Teenagers, still in their formative years, require sufficient nutrition, ample exercise, and abundant sleep to ensure healthy development and the energy needed for learning. However, some students, under the supervision of teachers, can't resist the urge to play with their phones during class. Some listen to songs, some play online games, some are alone, and some gather in groups, neglecting rest during lunch break and even during bedtime.
- Long-term sleep deprivation affects creative thinking in the brain. Experiments were conducted on 24 college students, dividing them into two groups: one stayed up all night, and the other group had regular sleep. The results showed that the sleep-deprived group scored significantly lower than the well-rested group. Researchers believe that a well-rested brain is essential for clear thinking and responsiveness. Prolonged sleep deprivation impairs creative thinking and cognitive abilities.
2、Impact on Growth and Development:
- Scientific evidence shows that growth and development in middle school students are partly related to growth hormone secretion, which is closely linked to sleep. Growth hormone is secreted in peaks during deep sleep, with several smaller peaks afterward, while secretion decreases when not asleep. Thus, ample sleep is crucial for healthy growth.
- Chronic sleep deprivation leads to anxiety, weakened immune systems, and various diseases such as nervous disorders, colds, and gastrointestinal issues.
- These issues seriously affect students' physical health and growth and impede their learning progress.
Impact on Mental Health:
As smartphones enter campuses, students use them to access the internet.
1、Erosion of Moral Awareness:
- Given the variable quality of online information and the high degree of anonymity online, suppressed negative aspects of human nature find expression in unregulated or loosely regulated environments. This weakening of ethical consciousness in the virtual world can bleed into real-life moral behaviors, resulting in reduced moral sensitivity, weakened moral awareness, diminished ethical standards, and a lack of self-regulation.
2、Overabundance of Online Information:
- The oversaturation of online information can lead to a sense of self-loss among adolescents, obstructing personality formation and development. Adolescents immersed in the online world, due to their heightened susceptibility to novelty and limited analytical capacity, tend to absorb various information presented in media culture, including television and the internet, uncritically, even to the point of blind admiration. This can foster feelings of inferiority.
3、Impediment to Developing Integrity and Social Skills:
- Online interactions lack the responsibilities and obligations inherent in face-to-face interactions. Consequently, latent negative psychological traits can be triggered or intensified. Dishonesty is particularly pronounced. Research reveals that many students learn to lie from the internet and even take pleasure in it. Online friendships occur in virtual contexts and not in face-to-face interactions, negatively affecting traditional modes of social interaction, potentially fostering emotional detachment, new social barriers, and hindrances to psychological health.
4、Fostering a Culture of Comparison:
- Many students engage in materialistic comparisons – who has the latest, fanciest phone, with the highest price tag, fastest internet, and best sound quality. Some students lie to parents or friends and may even steal money to satiate their desires for trendy phones, thereby presenting management challenges for schools.
Lack of Focus and Concentration:
- Smartphones can be a source of distraction, drawing students into social media, games, or other forms of entertainment, preventing them from concentrating on classroom content and hindering effective listening and learning.
Impact on Academic Performance:
- Excessive phone use may lead students to neglect their studies, missing crucial class content, assignments, and learning opportunities, ultimately affecting their academic performance.
Social Interaction Issues:
- Excessive phone focus may reduce face-to-face social interactions with classmates and teachers, impacting their communication, collaboration, and relationship-building skills.
Violation of School Policies:
- Schools usually establish mobile phone use policies, specifying when and how students can use phones on campus. Disregarding these regulations after bringing phones to school can lead to disciplinary issues.
Cheating and Dishonest Behavior:
- Students might resort to phone-enabled cheating, like looking up answers or communicating with peers during exams, undermining the honest and equitable academic environment.
- When students access the internet on phones, they might come across inappropriate content, including violence, pornography, or other negative materials, impacting their mental health adversely.
- Students could become addicted to phone usage, undermining their time management and self-directed learning skills.
Managing the Benefits and Drawbacks of Phones on Campus:
Although smartphones are making rapid inroads into campuses, teachers need not view them as insurmountable obstacles. The key lies in guiding students to use phones correctly. The following measures can be taken:
Establish clear phone usage guidelines, strictly prohibiting students from using phones for non-educational activities such as chatting and gaming during school hours. Any phone-related activities that disrupt learning or affect students' own lives and the lives of others should be managed and returned only at the end of the term. Homeroom teachers and subject teachers should patiently engage in student counseling, guiding them in the correct use of phones and enhancing their learning and work capabilities.
Of course, everything has advantages and disadvantages, and mobile phones are also beneficial to students.
Related reading: Why should students be allowed to use cell phones in schools and classrooms?