Although much of the public debate is against it, there are pros associated with allowing cell phones in school. These advantages should not be ignored since cell phones in schools can actually add value to the educational experience, rather than simply be a detriment to it.
Although you hope that you will never have to do this, you sometimes need to get in contact with your school-aged child while they are in class. This could be because of a death in the family, an accident or other family emergency that may require his or her attention and/or attendance. By being able to call your child directly, you also help alleviate the workload of the school's administrative team. This is particularly useful during recess and lunch hours when students aren't in class and may be difficult to find. The problems with knowing where your children are after school could also be reduced if parents had the ability to call them and vice versa. Text messages can make communicating easy and discreet.
Students who have a smartphone can use various applications that are designed to assist in learning and designed just for students. Many of these smartphones have programs that are similar to what is found in a laptop or desktop computer. Being able to quickly look up facts on the internet is possible on many phones. If a student needs assistance with classwork and does not have access to a computer, a smartphone can be used in a snap.
Most cell phones have a camera these days, so children can use these to take pictures of things in class. This is great for science class, for example, where they may be exposed to certain creatures, plants and other things that they probably won't encounter anywhere else. This is much more effective that simply producing a quick sketch. Pictures can also be useful for any sort of step-by-step process, so that they can later review the photos to better understand the procedure in metalwork, woodwork or other hands-on courses.
Nearly every mobile phone has a built-in calendar function and this can be very useful for kids who have a hard time remembering test dates, assignment due dates and other such details where time is of the essence. By putting these in a cell phone organizer and assigning an alarm, they'll never forget again! After all, paper-based agendas and notebooks can be easily lost, forgotten, overlooked or scribbled over.
The voice recording feature of cell phones can be beneficial to students who would like a quick way to keep track of what they need to do. After all, students may not always have immediate access to a notepad, so using a cell phone to "jot down" important information can be helpful.
GPS tracking can be a benefit of cell phones to parents who want to be able to keep tabs on their children's whereabouts. GPS tracking a cell phone can provide peace of mind to concerned parents and teachers if a student is reported missing or has gone somewhere of concern.
Store Emergency Contact Information
Important phone numbers can be easily stored in cell phones. For students, this can be important in case they become sick while at school or are in an emergency situation. Their cell phone can contain important numbers such as their parent's work, doctor's office, dentist, who to call in case of an emergency as well as numbers of close family members and friends.
Remember to Weigh Both Sides
Students bringing a phone to school has both positive and negative consequences. Many schools have set rules in place regarding cell phones and whether they are permitted in the school or classroom. Parents can decide whether their child should bring a phone to school - as long as it is not against the rules - and set appropriate guidelines regarding the use of the phone.