How smartphones create distractions in the classroom

Although smartphones have significantly improved our lives through increased access to information, they have been particularly a mixed bag when it comes to their use by students. Indeed, learners could benefit a lot from using their phones to improve the learning experience. If you are a student, then you know smartphones have made it easy for you to find information about virtually anything and in a variety of forms, including videos and images.

However, a growing concern is that allowing smartphones in the classroom impairs learners’ concentration and attention capabilities, distracting them from their academics. Therefore, this post provides an in-depth analysis of how smartphones create distractions in the classroom and why they should not be allowed in school.

How smartphones create distractions in the classroom


Smartphones in the classroom: Some advantages

  1. Promoting inclusion
    Smartphones in the classroom can serve as a crucial tool for improving the experiences of students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, visual impairments, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Learners with these issues could use smartphones to not only take notes but also access cloud-based learning technologies. Given the rapid rate at which individuals with disabilities are enrolling in higher education institutions, allowing them to use smartphones could reduce learning disparities, increasing their education achievement levels. It is also possible that allowing smartphones for some students and not others might brew resentment and animosity from those without access to these technologies. Thus, permitting all students to use smartphones can help alleviate this problem.
  2. Improving the learning process
    Smartphones have great potential for enhancing students’ learning outcomes. Besides helping collect instantaneous feedback concerning learning, smartphones could promote collaboration among learners, increasing their engagement with instructors and course materials. For example, a student could use a smartphone to answer questions posted on discussion forums thanks to applications like Learning Catalytics and Poll Everywhere. Smartphones also enable access to collaborative tools, for example, Google Jamboard and Google Docs, which encourage students to collectively contribute ideas to shared projects or provide feedback to their classmates. Still, smartphones have become the easiest way for students to search for information, data, and statistics on the internet. Thus, they could greatly improve the learning environment in schools.
  3. Boosting creativity
    Smartphones can also enhance creativity in students. With the numerous applications available on such devices, learners can practice creating short, educative videos to exercise their creativity. Still, they could record audio files, which they could use to improve their speaking and communication skills. Through the videos and tutorials available to them, they can learn new ways of doing things, increasing their general enjoyment in the learning process. Smartphones also provide access to online dictionaries, from which students can learn new words to consolidate their vocabulary.
  4. Improving organization
    Smartphones can also help students in organizing their work and staying on top of tasks, deadlines, projects, and other homework assignments. With applications, such as myHomework App, for example, learners can receive notifications and reminders concerning upcoming deadlines and work schedules. The cross-platform app provides a more intuitive and convenient alternative to the conventional paper planner. Concerning the organization of classroom notes, smartphones allow students access to the Evernote app, which enables access and transcribing of notes across several devices. Besides this app, as a student prepared to enter the corporate world after graduation, you want a website you can use to write and organize your coursework. In that case, you can try CustomWritings, an online service with professional coursework writers that could help not only address all your academic writing needs but also be ready for the job market.

Are smartphones a distraction in the classroom: Top reasons why they are

How smartphones create distractions in the classroom

Although smartphones have significantly improved our lives through increased access to information, they have been particularly a mixed bag when it comes to their use by students. Indeed, learners could benefit a lot from using their phones to improve the learning experience. If you are a student, then you know smartphones have made it easy for you to find information about virtually anything and in a variety of forms, including videos and images. However, a growing concern is that allowing smartphones in the classroom impairs learners’ concentration and attention capabilities, distracting them from their academics. Therefore, this post provides an in-depth analysis of how smartphones create distractions in the classroom and why they should not be allowed in school.

Smartphones in the classroom: Some advantages

1. Promoting inclusion

Smartphones in the classroom can serve as a crucial tool for improving the experiences of students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, visual impairments, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Learners with these issues could use smartphones to not only take notes but also access cloud-based learning technologies. Given the rapid rate at which individuals with disabilities are enrolling in higher education institutions, allowing them to use smartphones could reduce learning disparities, increasing their education achievement levels. It is also possible that allowing smartphones for some students and not others might brew resentment and animosity from those without access to these technologies. Thus, permitting all students to use smartphones can help alleviate this problem.

2. Improving the learning process

Smartphones have great potential for enhancing students’ learning outcomes. Besides helping collect instantaneous feedback concerning learning, smartphones could promote collaboration among learners, increasing their engagement with instructors and course materials. For example, a student could use a smartphone to answer questions posted on discussion forums thanks to applications like Learning Catalytics and Poll Everywhere. Smartphones also enable access to collaborative tools, for example, Google Jamboard and Google Docs, which encourage students to collectively contribute ideas to shared projects or provide feedback to their classmates. Still, smartphones have become the easiest way for students to search for information, data, and statistics on the internet. Thus, they could greatly improve the learning environment in schools.

3. Boosting creativity

Smartphones can also enhance creativity in students. With the numerous applications available on such devices, learners can practice creating short, educative videos to exercise their creativity. Still, they could record audio files, which they could use to improve their speaking and communication skills. Through the videos and tutorials available to them, they can learn new ways of doing things, increasing their general enjoyment in the learning process. Smartphones also provide access to online dictionaries, from which students can learn new words to consolidate their vocabulary.

4. Improving organization

Smartphones can also help students in organizing their work and staying on top of tasks, deadlines, projects, and other homework assignments. With applications, such as myHomework App, for example, learners can receive notifications and reminders concerning upcoming deadlines and work schedules. The cross-platform app provides a more intuitive and convenient alternative to the conventional paper planner. Concerning the organization of classroom notes, smartphones allow students access to the Evernote app, which enables access and transcribing of notes across several devices. Besides this app, as a student prepared to enter the corporate world after graduation, you want a website you can use to write and organize your coursework. In that case, you can try CustomWritings, an online service with professional coursework writers that could help not only address all your academic writing needs but also be ready for the job market.

Are smartphones a distraction in the classroom: Top reasons why they are

1. Many features on smartphones are for entertainment purposes

Smartphones distract students from learning because many focus on their entertainment purposes more than their educational roles. Instead of studying, smartphones can tempt learners to play their favorite video games while in class or watch entertaining content on social networking sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube. Those students who succumb to this inviting temptation mostly suffer poor academic outcomes due to the inability to concentrate on their coursework. Poor comprehension of learning materials could consequently lead to reduced academic performance, undermining students’ achievement levels. Since many learners are yet to develop the discipline necessary to focus on their studies without much supervision, smartphones distract them more than aid in improved academic performance.

2. Smartphones can undermine sleep quality

Sufficient sleep is one of the key determinants of academic performance in school. Specifically, students who get adequate sleep are able to concentrate fully in the classroom, paying keen attention to the learning process. However, those who spend most of their time on smartphones become addicted, meaning that they use them almost every time, whether at home or school. Such a high exposure to screens, especially at night, could deny students the opportunity to gain enough sleep, which is a prerequisite for effective functioning during the day. Therefore, it can reduce the concentration abilities of students in the classroom, undermining their education outcomes.

3. Smartphones could promote negative student behavior

It is also possible that using smartphones in the classroom could promote negative conduct among students. Behaviors such as harassment and cyberbullying have become quite common in schools with the advent and proliferation of smartphones among the student population. This is because these devices are quite effective at spreading information due to the easy access to social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The craving for likes and social approval on these sites can incentivize some students to post disparaging images or videos of their peers, leading to increased cases of cyberbullying and harassment. Indeed, this is key among the reasons why some experts propose that phones should not be allowed in school.

4. Smartphones undermine long-term learning retention

Using smartphones in the classroom has a damaging effect not only on students using them but also on their peers without phones. When learners divide their attention between listening to the instructor and using their smartphones, they need help comprehending the contents of the lesson despite their beliefs about multitasking. While the effects of this distraction might not be apparent immediately, it becomes quite evident when students begin scoring lowly in end-of-term exams. The performance of students without phones also diminishes because they become easily distracted by the activities of those using these devices in the classroom. Therefore, it is generally detrimental to students’ long-term academic achievement.

Smartphones are notorious for distracting students because of their many appealing entertainment features. However, they could also promote inclusion for learners with disabilities besides improving the learning process. Thus, how smartphones create distractions in the classroom does not entirely mean they are bad for students. 

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