Classroom Phone Usage Disconnected

Alex Herman, Staff Reporter

It isn’t uncommon to see students sneak looks at their phones while claiming they’re “doing work” or “checking PowerSchool.”

In reality, many are sending out Snapchats to save their streaks and trying to get past the level in the game that’s giving them so much trouble.

While phones have become an integral part of everyday life, in and out of school, their use in classrooms has been addressed in a big way.

In a change from the current policy of phone usage being determined at the discretion of each teacher, phones will no longer be allowed for academic work.

Students will be allowed to have phones on campus, but usage is permissible only during lunch periods.

Freshmen (Class of 2024) starting in the fall of 2020 must have a laptop; all other students will be required to have some device other than phones — laptops or tablets — for next year. All students will be required to have laptops starting in 2021-22.

The reactions of students remains mixed.

Junior Will Altsman said the phone policy change “will be a good thing for learning,” but added he “doesn’t really like it.” Altsman said his phone was the primary device he used for academic purposes in class despite having a laptop.

Junior Walker Bell said, “(Phones) can be a distraction for a lot of students, so I see where they’re coming from. I’m the type of person that the phone can be a distraction in a classroom environment.”

On the other end of the spectrum, most teachers are staunch in their support of the policy change.

Mr. Jeff Becker sees the change as necessary because students are “so addicted” to their phones. He added that not having phones won’t take away from his method of teaching because other devices like laptops will be used.

As a school that is technologically inclined, with some classes like US history getting its material entirely off the Internet, the change won’t have negative effects.

Although the effectiveness of the change can only be speculated about, Becker said phone caddies may continue to be effective because many students will still try and sneak looks during class.