A ‘phone hotel’ hangs in a Spectrum Community School classroom. Ethan Badr photo

Student Voice: Phones in school a tool for learning or weapon of mass distraction?

Spectrum student questions role of smart phones in school

By Ethan Badr

Smart phones have quickly become a major presence in high schools, middle schools and even elementary.

“Ten years ago one person had a cell phone, now pretty much everyone has one,” says Spectrum English teacher Tom Gordon.

Students are often distracted by their devices in class but can we really call it an addiction?

Well yes, there is actually a lot of research that proves cell phones have the potential to be just as addictive as drugs and alcohol. The only difference is, you don’t have to wait until you’re 19 to start using a cell phone.

“We need a cell phone rehab.” Gordon added.

It’s not rehab, but one local teacher has created what are now being called “cell phone hotels.”

These “hotels” hang on the wall of each classroom and have enough pockets for each student’s cell phone. Teachers can choose to implement them at their own discretion. Students who feel they won’t be able to restrain themselves during class time can check their phones into the hotel until the end of class.

“For me, it really comes down to two things: I want to minimize distractions for my students, and I want students to realize that it is possible for them to be without their phones for 80 minutes,” said one Spectrum teacher. “It’s not a perfect system, but it’s a start.”

The hotels, although fairly new, have been showing results when teachers decide to use them.

However, some teachers are taking a different approach. English 12 teacher Chris Lubinich says, “Instead of removing them completely it’s my job to teach students to use them responsibly.”

Lubinich uses the application Google Classroom to streamline student learning directly through their smartphones. Assignments are uploaded to the digital classroom, completed by students on their phones or computers then handed in online.

“Like anything in this world cellphones can be used for good or bad and the potential problems with cell phone usage should not be bigger than the education system,” says Lubinich.

We are still at the start of this new age of technology and we have to decide, not just in schools, whether we are going to embrace it or restrict it.

Ethan Badr is a Grade 12 student at Spectrum Community School

Just Posted

Victoria Women’s Expo showcases the latest trends

Over 100 vendors feature lots of beauty, health, food, jewelry products and more

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

Hillside Avenue death ruled a homicide, police say

No charges have yet been laid in the killing of Victoria man Joe Gauthier

Hope gets eight year sentence for Church Avenue sex assault

Eight years is the sentence for David Robert Hope, who was found… Continue reading

Short-term rental market up for changes April 1 in Victoria

Bylaw amendments hike fees, require homeowner’s presence

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

EDITORIAL: Lowered voting age only a matter of time

The B.C. Green Party leader has reignited an age-old question in the… Continue reading

Saanich Talks event kicks off Local Area Plan updates

Updates on plans for Cadboro Bay and Cordova Bay the focus of Wednesday meeting at UVic

Braves trim Bucs to fend off elimination

Game 7 of VIJHL playoff series goes Sunday night in Nanaimo

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for B.C. SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Lilia Zaharieva wants to share her medical good fortune

UVic student wants treatment for cystic fibrosis made available for all

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

Most Read