written by Sydney Young
The 2016-2017 school year has officially started and with it a new rule is in place: Phones should not be out at all from 7:38 to 2:20 in the school, even for instructional purposes. In the last few years, the rule itself has been changed several times, going from allowing phones to banning them all together.
With the changes to the rule over the years, students are divided on the use of phones in the classroom. Some feel that phones are a strong learning tool, with educational games being a staple in some classes. Others feel that phones are too strong of a distraction and hurt learning more than they help it.
“I think we should be allowed to have them out, because it’s high school,” Freshman Bryson Crayton said. Bryson came from Conway, a school that had never allowed phones on its campus.
While Crayton is used to not having his phone at school, other students are having trouble adjusting to the change. Some are coming from schools that allowed them to use their phones often, either for learning purposes or just by allowing them to have them out during the day.
Phones have also been an important learning tool in the school, with programs like Edmodo, Quizlet, and Kahoot helping students take quizzes and keep up on homework with just their phones. The new rule states that teachers have to get special permission to use phones in their classrooms, even for learning purposes.
“In the classroom, I think it should be up to the teacher’s discretion,” said Ms. Elizabeth Kruse who used phones in her classes before they were banned.
Some teachers welcome the change. Last year, there were problems with students using apps like Periscope to record on school property, something that’s prohibited on school grounds unless you get permission first. After the Periscope craze, and many recorded fights, the administrators moved to ban phones completely. Some teachers didn’t know about the rule change until right until school started, but there is still support behind the ban.
“I’m excited in many ways. It sets a standard for the whole school that’s higher than last year. It’s no longer the norm to have your phones out in the hallway,” said Sra. Jacobs. “The only thing I find hard is not being able to use Kahoot and Quizlet.”