It’s no secret that media usage has become increasingly popular amongst younger generations of people in Australia, particularly that of school students who undoubtedly own a personal mobile device be it a mobile, laptop or tablet. There’s no doubt that students are somewhat encouraged not to use said devices, particularly mobile phones, during class and this was certainly the case during my time at high school. The rules were that all mobile phones were to be either left at home, or in your locker, yet many of us (myself included) tried to defy these rules by texting under desks, in pencil cases and behind large library books but to no avail. Laptops were still allowed to be used during class, however, which made me wonder why then if they can access social media sites, are they still allowed?
It’s rare to find a student without a mobile nowadays and especially one that doesn’t have access to social media sites. Why then, are there so many rules and regulations around having a mobile device at school if everyone has one? This leads me to reiterate my argument from last week’s blog post about multitasking, in which I discovered that studies have suggested if you’re doing more than two things at once, and then you’re unable to complete these tasks at full capacity.This stands as one possible argument for the prohibition of mobile phones in class, and was perhaps one of the reasons for my particular high school to have a strict zero tolerance policy during class or school assemblies.
In terms of controlling the usage of mobiles in class at my high school, a first warning was given, then the phone was confiscated if it was found to be used again, then the final step would be probation and possible lunchtime detention. My younger brother who attends my old high school has said that whilst these rules still exist, they are much looser on the immediate discipline and students are coming up with more devious ways of avoiding being caught on Facebook or texting during class.
In contrast to these regulations, students were allowed to use the devices during breaks, study periods and roll call times, which highlights the fact that the rules were completely subject to the space in which the mobile devices were used. Nowadays its hard for teachers and professors to have the expectation that their class of 25 or lecture room of 50 to have full attention on who is speaking for the complete duration of the time spent in class, without checking their phone or laptop for text messages or social media updates; it’s just becoming more and more unrealistic.
In terms of social anxieties and moral concerns which are presenting themselves as a result of the use of mobile phones during class, many teachers and parents in particular are concerned that these students will create poor concentration habits, resulting in a lack of fully comprehending information, a lack of engagement in tasks and assignments of the like and an overall disengagement and separation from the world outside of their mobile phones.
Looking to the future, perhaps classrooms will see the inclusions of mobile phones for the use of educational purposes strictly and to be monitored by teachers in order to create a positive classroom environment where learning enhancement is central.