Should schools ban mobile phones in class?

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Should children be allowed to use mobile phones in school?

Pupils using mobile phones in school has become a hot topic - some say using mobile phones can benefit students while others say banning them in schools is a good idea.

One recent academic study says banning mobile phones and other technology in the classroom is “moving in the wrong direction”, as children will keep using technology anyway.

Professor Paul Howard-Jones said that children are going to continue the use of mobile phones in the classroom regardless of what the rules say.

He says it would be much more effective to allow the use and build an understanding of the way these mobile devices are being used by children.

He said: “I share concerns of parents about the effects of leisure technology on sleep and homework and exercise but it’s important that we don’t demonize it completely.”

His comments came as his research suggested playing computer games could help boost pupils’ concentration levels and improve their results in the classroom.

However another study from the London School of Economics suggests a ban on phones has the effect of an extra week of classes over a pupil’s school year.

The research by Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy, published by the Centre for Economic Performance, says:

“Technological advancements are commonly viewed as leading to increased productivity.

“Numerous studies document the benefits of technology on productivity in the workplace and on human capital accumulation.

“There are, however, potential drawbacks to new technologies, as they may provide distractions and reduce productivity. Mobile phones can be a source of great disruption in workplaces and classrooms, as they provide individuals with access to texting, games, social media and the Internet.

“Given these features, mobile phones have the potential to reduce the attention students pay to classes and can therefore be detrimental to learning.”

What do you think - are mobile phones in school a good or bad thing?