Academics / Faculty / Middle School / Upper School

Smart Phones in the Classroom: Friend or Foe?

The use of smart phones in school is an interesting topic; everyone has an opinion about whether or not smart phones are useful tools.   As with many topics in education, it all depends on the application and approach.

I have a cell phone jail on my desk, and as the students walk into my class they place their phones in jail.  The phones stay in jail until we “break” them out.  Some days they are in jail all period, while other days we use them constantly.


I have had my students use their smart phones for things as simple as taking a picture of the textbook assignment (so that they do not have to carry the book home and I do not have to make copies), to a more involved task of creating silent films about conditional statements in geometry.

As an educator, it would be insane not to take full advantage and embrace the opportunity to use a tool that is free (the students pay for it) and has endless applications.  Plus, because smart phones are “cool,” students are interested in using them and in learning with them.  Did I already mention that this tool is free?

We are always looking for new, innovative, and free ways to help our students learn new material; with smart phones we literally have it ALL at our fingertips!


If you are a teacher, do you utilize this tool in your classroom?
Students, what benefits have you experienced from using smart phones in class? Are there any drawbacks?
Some parents argue that children receive enough screen time outside of school.  Parents, do you think smart phones can be valuable in the classroom, or are they a distraction?

One thought on “Smart Phones in the Classroom: Friend or Foe?

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