Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cell Phones and Botherations

      Many students are beginning to think that a lighter ban on cellphones in classroom is a necessary expansion. Linda Matchan writes about this in her article Schools seek balance for cellphones in class This argument has been around since the invention of the smartphone, however this has only grown into public favor ever since their popularization. Schools vary greatly in their policies on the subject, from free use to total ban with varying degrees of success.

    The side that argues against cellphones in the classroom has many strong arguments for their case. The main idea that comes up is that it is (1)“an incredible distraction, and makes it much more difficult to teach.” However this is not necessarily true. A study done by Yale showed (2)“that a majority of students who have on or above average grades tend to ignore the phone most of the time when a lesson is being taught”, thus not breaking their concentration; (3)“while students with below average or failing grades tend to check it more often during class”. To many this may seem as a clear indication that phones should be removed from the classroom, however there is another way.

   While it may be true that (4)“Cell phones are practically considered contraband in high schools” it might be time to stop looking at them from a yes/no perspective, and instead from a maybe perspective. While it is true that below average students check their phones excessively, it might be possible to use them instead as a reward. If we were to allow students to use them in class if they maintain a high enough grade or reach some certain goals. This would cause the ones lower down to have something to strive for, while keeping the ones above the average line to stay rewarded. The students that get above average grades are more likely to go onto college, then unto a professional career where they will likely have access to their cell phone even more so than when they are in school, thus preparing them for the future.

   The choice is made on an school by school basis and the same solution likely won’t work everywhere but this appears to see the best solution to a very general problem. There are a few grey areas, like the student near the average line; but these are kinks that can easily be smoothed out.

Works Cited
"Cellphones in School: A Teaching Tool or Distraction? - The Boston Globe." Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
"lko" Lisa Nielsen: The Innovative Educator: 5 Reasons to Allow Students to Use Cell Phones in Class. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
"Lisa Nielsen: The Innovative Educator: 5 Reasons to Allow Students to Use Cell Phones in Class." Lisa Nielsen: The Innovative Educator: 5 Reasons to Allow Students to Use Cell Phones in Class. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Michael. "Plan to Use Cellphones as a Reward for Good Schoolwork Begins to Emerge." The New York Times. The New York Times, 31 Oct. 2007. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Divided we Stand.

By Chase Keener

The changes in social media have caused great strife in many workplaces and schools, causing groups to split apart and look down upon each other. This can lead to so many negative effects, notably depression, and are overall driving our society apart. We are unknowingly being put into our own social media ¨bubble¨. All of our content is forced through a filter, meaning whatever your political view is, that’s all you see. There isn’t any branching out or seeing the other side's point of view, which leads to a larger separation of groups.
Even on a personal level, cyberbullying and social exclusion are a massive problem for young teens. When people can go as far as to encourage other people to take their own life,especially only for a laugh; it’s time to acknowledge the problem. The worst part is: victims of this abuse are often in a situation where they can’t even defend themselves. Even if they simply avoid social media, they’re only submitting themselves to another form of social exclusion.  There is no law outlawing cyberbullying outright; however it has fallen under an umbrella of other laws. Having one patronized simply for being different is a natural human instinct. Despite this, social media is letting this natural instinct go way too far with the power anonymity
We can see an extreme version of this problem in Japan, were students who travel abroad are so ingrained with this herd-like mentality that they actually have difficulty re-entering Japanese society where bullying is reaching a near epidemic. Social exclusion is bullying, and it is a major problem in our Twitter-based society that we revolve around. While this may be simple human nature, it’s not something that is preferable or suited for 21st century lifestyles, and giving someone a major mental disease just isn’t worth being popular.