Cellphones are a Menace, but Students May Not be the Problem.

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I've Had More Cellphones Than This in My Desk at School.Teachers and school administrators continue to expect that cell phones not be turned on during the school day.

I wholeheartedly agree.

This is a fight schools have been waging for close to 10 years and we must not give up now. If we quit, it will be viewed as weakness.

Cell phones can be a disruption to the learning process, an overall annoyance, and may even provoke larger problems when used as a camera or an MP3 player.

Administrators and teachers are well within their rights to demand that they not be on during school time.

We are trying to educate, not provide time for social interaction. What possible benefit could there be to using cell phones during school time?

They certainly couldn’t be used as organizers, internet connections, note taking devices, or calculators (has an IEP been written yet with a cell phone in it… if it hasn’t; it will and should be).

Cell phones are most likely a fad and will simply go away if we fight them long enough. We must hold our ground.

In elementary school, I remember one of my teachers telling us that people would soon get bored with calculators and at that point they would disappear (how is that working out for you Mrs. Crazy?)

To older people like me, cell phones are an evil example of progress. And we don’t need that. The future scares us and it should be avoided at all costs.

This whole technology thing is getting out of hand. We need to hold kids back as they try to move ahead of us with these new fangled ideas (after all students are nothing more than our replacements).

Much like cars, indoor plumbing, and the SMARTBoards; cell phones are just another way to ruin the way of life of which we have grown comfortable.

We need to hold our ground. No cell phones.

And as administrators we need to lead this fight. We must be an example to young people in living a “cell phone free” life. A life where we put common courtesy ahead of convenience.

Who is with me!?

I say as administrators we start by setting the ultimate example.

Simply put; turn your phone on vibrate when attending a meeting. You are annoying everyone around you.

You expect students to do it. Practice what you preach.

The school you work at will survive for an hour. None of us are as important as we think we are.

You want students to be attentive and polite; how about we try it first.

Just in case you are a little slow… this is what we like to call sarcasm… I am a huge proponent of the benefits of using a cell phone in the classroom as a “learning tool”. But for the love of Pete people…, turn off your cell phone when you are in a meeting or presentation! It’s called vibrate… try it. You just might like it.

Thank you for letting me vent. I feel much better.

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12 Responses to “Cellphones are a Menace, but Students May Not be the Problem.”

  1. Robert Rowe
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 7:56 am

    “Do as I say, not as I do.” doesn’t work? Who would’ve thought!
    (There’s my sarcasm)
    I agree with you completely, and can give you a perfect example:
    On the agenda for our last faculty meeting, was the issue of increased cellphone use by students (during study halls, mostly). As the assistant principal was addressing it, a teacher’s phone started ringing (“Mozart’s 40th”). The teacher quickly silenced it, and not a word from the asst. principal. Not even a minute later, another cellphone rings (some hiphop tune I’m not familiar with, but I laughed that a veteran teacher had it as their ringtone).
    The asst. principal just lowered his head, and said, “You get the idea…”

  2. Angie
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 9:37 am

    Have you seen this website? It allows you to phone in podcasts. Imagine what field trips could become….

    Once we start using the tools for educational purposes instead of banning them (social networking and Google images comes to mind), the better off we and our students will be.

    BTW, thanks for the shout out

  3. Mike Parent
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 3:06 pm

    I have an idea. at your nest meeting, tell the faculty that they can’t bring pens and paper. Tell them they can’t bring anything to write with or on. When they ask why (and probably say you’re being ridiculous) tell them you fear they they might start writing notes to each other. If they are quick, they’ll get your drift.

  4. geek.teacher
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 4:14 pm

    i went into this post expecting yet another old fart post, but was delighted to find some delightful sarcasm arguing something new to me: letting kids have cell phones in schools.

  5. Clint H
    on May 5th, 2008
    @ 11:05 pm


    Not only does this apply to cellphones, but to *any* emerging technology. Instead of seeing such things as obstacles or things in need of controlling, why not re-appropriate them for learning?

  6. What Feelings? I’m a School Administrator. | PrincipalsPage The Blog
    on Mar 28th, 2009
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    [...] you make a rule for one child it can be less stringent. Like asking them to turn their cell phone off at [...]

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    [...] are battles to win, school board meetings to attend, eligibility to check, handbooks to write, cell phones to confiscate, dress codes to enforce, bus incidents to address, evaluations to complete, teachers [...]

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    on Jul 20th, 2009
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    [...] one possible solution having students attend school Monday through Thursday for 9 hours a [...]

  10. You Can’t Just Hand a Microphone to Anybody. | PrincipalsPage The Blog
    on Jul 22nd, 2009
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    [...] students are farther advanced in technology than adults. Educators should allow cell phones in schools because they are mini-computers. We should use Skype because it is free (we do and yes it [...]

  11. Karren Tonai
    on Mar 30th, 2010
    @ 2:41 pm

    I am sometimes surprised and annoyed at the nuisance that mobile phones have become. I think the cell phone manufacturers need to come up with an etiquette manual when using phones alongside the phone user manual……just a thought.

  12. S
    on Sep 12th, 2010
    @ 5:44 pm

    Wonderful post.

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