Phone Usage is Becoming a Problem

Studies show that nearly ½ of America’s public schools currently are lagging in classroom standards. Is this caused by the impact that phones can have on a student’s education? 

The use of phones in class has been a big problem in all schools. said that 92 percent of students use their phone at school during their class and 10 percent of students admitted to using their phone during an exam. According to Lauren Manning, a junior at Triton High School, she believes that the amount of phone usage during class depends on the level class you are in. 

When asked if her classmates used their phone she said, “Not really in my AP, and sometimes in my honors class, but in my (cp 1 math class), yes.”

As part of a Triton Voice investigation, My partner and I went into each of our classes and chose someone to pay attention to, and counted how many times they went on their phone during that class period. While this may not be an accurate judgment for everyone in the school, it accounts to most of the school’s population. Being able to interview multiple people from different backgrounds and different beliefs shows us a trend in what type of person would be more prone to going on their phone during class while others who chose to take Advanced Placement classes as well as some Honors classes chose to keep off their phones and really pay attention to what is going on during class. Some students may use their phone to help them with classwork, yet the majority seem to use it more as a distraction than anything else, which can cause lots of side effects such as failing tests, not completing classwork, and getting a low participation grade for the class. 

Research shows that when students use their phones, they are only half-present. The journal of education physiology researchers said that the upper level college class students had scored half a letter grade when they used their phone and laptops for non-educational purposes. While this is the case in college, high school student Savannah Colbert says that when she was in CP level classes, the teachers were more strict about the phone usage compared to her honors and AP level classes. 

While investigating classes, students use their phones more often than we thought. In the Algebra 2 cp level math class, one student alone was recorded to pick up their phone at least 20 times during the hour-long time span. This wasn’t the case for just one class. Every other class that we investigated, showed students picking up their phone just as much, if not even more. This proves that students in Triton High School may be experiencing the same problem other students in college may be facing. According to the Verywell Family article, it said, “More than 11% of those surveyed felt that they could not stop themselves from using their devices.”

Alanna Sparks, an avid phone user said, “I use my phone in every single class I can’t go without it, there is always texts coming through that I have to answer.”

Seeming like there is a constant pressure for many to keep looking at their phones having a fear of missing out on something going on but it is also as simple as people wanting to play games on their phone rather than listen to the lecture that could be going on during the class or doing their classwork, something that many students in class partake in. According to a China Daily article that investigated students nationwide about playing games, “34.89% of them spend a lot of time playing games on their smartphones.” 

“I play games on my phone a lot during class, especially iMessage games,” said Taylor Frascone, a frequent classroom game player. 

After collecting the data from our everyday classes as well as talking to our peers we have been brought to the conclusion that phone usage is becoming an increasing problem in our school and could be affecting many things like participation in the classroom, test scores, and even may be causing some types of procrastination. This also could be a contributing factor to the academic interventions that had been implemented recently at our school for missing work. 

Trying to be more mindful of phone usage can be helpful in trying to decrease the amount of class time spent on the mobile device. Next time you pick up your phone in class try to think of how many times you picked it up in that class already.