Templatecookie.com Premium Quality Scripts & HTML Templates

Should Phones Be Allowed In School - Pros, Cons & Solutions

Updated at 15 February, 2023 Category: Classroom Management , School Management
Pros and Cons of caring for the phone at school

As students, parents, and educators, we all know that phones have become an integral part of our daily lives. However, when it comes to using phones in schools, opinions can be divided. 

Some argue that phones can be a valuable tool for learning and communication, while others argue that they can be a major distraction and hindrance to education.

Well, in this article, I will be taking an in-depth look at both the pros and cons of allowing phones in schools, as well as discussing potential solutions for balancing the benefits and drawbacks. 

At the end of the article, you will get enough information to make the right decision on allowing or forbidding phone usage in school. 

Increase your classroom efficiency with our Premium School Management System: Schooling

Pros of Allowing Phones in School

Improved Communication

Allowing phones in school can greatly improve communication between students, teachers, and parents. With a phone, students can easily contact their parents if they need to, whether it's to ask for permission to stay after school for a club meeting or to let their parents know they're running late. 

Besides, teachers can use phones as a way to communicate with students and parents, sending out reminders or updates about assignments and class activities. 

Educational Tools

With the advancements in technology, there are now countless educational apps and websites available for students to use on their phones. These apps can help students with homework, studying, and research.

For example, students can use apps like Quizlet to create flashcards or take practice quizzes to help them study for a test. Or they can use apps like Wolfram Alpha to help them with their math homework by providing step-by-step solutions to problems. 

There are many educational websites and resources that are now optimized for mobile use, making it easy for students to access them on their phones.


Having a phone in school can be very convenient for students, parents, and teachers. With a phone, students can access their school schedule, important announcements, and other information. This can save them time and make it easier for them to stay organized. 

For example, students can use their phones to check their calendars for when their next test is or to check the school's website for any announcements. 

Students can also use apps like Google Drive or OneNote to keep track of their assignments and notes, making it easy for them to stay on top of their studies.

Stay Connected With Classmates

Phones can also be used to stay connected with classmates. This can be helpful for group projects, studying for tests, or just for keeping in touch with friends. 

Students can use apps like Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams to collaborate with their classmates on projects and assignments. 

Students can also use instant messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to communicate with their classmates and coordinate study sessions or project work.

Access to Internet

Having a phone in school also gives students access to the internet. This can be helpful for research, looking up information for a project or paper, or just for general knowledge. 

With the internet, the world is at your fingertips, and students can find information on just about any topic. 

Additionally, students can use the internet to access online resources such as educational videos, articles, and other materials that can supplement their learning in the classroom.


Allowing phones in school can increase safety for students. With a phone, students can quickly call for help in case of an emergency, such as a medical emergency or a dangerous situation. 

For example, if a student is feeling unwell, they can call for an ambulance immediately. Besides, students can use their phones to call or text a trusted adult, such as a parent or teacher, if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. 

This can be especially important for students who may not have a safe place to go or someone to talk to outside of school.

Language Learning

Phones can be used to help students learn a new language. There are many language learning apps available, such as Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone, that can help students practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing in a new language. 

These apps typically include interactive exercises and games that make learning fun and engaging. Many apps also include audio recordings of native speakers, which can help students improve their pronunciation and listening skills.

Time Management

With a phone, students can easily set reminders for assignments and tests and manage their time more effectively. This can help them stay on top of their study and avoid procrastination. 

For example, students can use apps like Google Calendar or To-do lists to create schedules and set reminders for assignments and tests. Students can also use apps like RescueTime to track their phone usage and set limits on certain apps to help them stay focused on their studies. 

This is extremely helpful for students who are struggling with time management or procrastination.

Mental Health

Having a phone can help students manage their mental health. For example, students can use apps like Headspace or Calm to practice mindfulness and meditation, which can help them manage stress and anxiety. 

Students can also use apps like Moodfit or Pacifica to track their moods and manage stress and anxiety. These apps typically include exercises, journaling prompts, and other tools that can help students identify and manage negative thoughts and emotions.

Online Learning

With online classes and remote learning becoming increasingly common, having a phone can be essential for students to participate in their classes and access their course materials. 

Additionally, students can use their phones to attend virtual meetings, submit assignments, and communicate with their teachers and classmates. 

This is especially important for students who may not have access to a computer or the internet at home. With a phone, they can still participate in their classes and stay connected with their teachers and classmates.

Cons of Allowing Phones in School


One of the main concerns with allowing phones in school is that they can be a major distraction for students. With constant notifications, messages, and updates coming in, students may find it hard to focus on their studies. 

They may be tempted to text, use social media, or play games during class, which can take away from their ability to focus and learn. This can lead to poor academic performance and can make it harder for them to retain information.


Allowing phones in school can also make it easier for students to cheat. With access to the internet, students can easily search for answers to test questions, or use apps to take pictures of test questions and share them with classmates. 

This can undermine the integrity of the educational process and can lead to a devaluation of the degree earned. It can also create an unfair advantage for students who cheat, leading to resentment among classmates.


Allowing phones in school can also increase the risk of cyberbullying. With access to social media and messaging apps, students can use their phones to bully or harass their classmates, even when they're not in school. 

This can include spreading rumors, sharing embarrassing or personal information, or sending threatening messages. 

Cyberbullying can have severe emotional and psychological effects on the victim, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts. 

It can also lead to an unsafe and hostile environment for students, affecting their ability to learn and succeed. 

It's important to note that in most cases, cyberbullying is not limited to school hours and can happen at any time, making it difficult to detect and prevent.

Privacy Concerns

Allowing phones in school can also raise concerns about student privacy. With access to the internet, students can easily share personal information or photos, which can lead to problems with identity theft or other forms of cybercrime. 

This can also lead to concerns about student data privacy, as schools and educational institutions may collect and store personal data on students.


Allowing phones in school can create inequalities among students. Some students may not have access to smartphones and may feel left out of the learning process. 

They may not have access to the same resources and opportunities as their classmates, which can affect their ability to learn and succeed. 

Besides, students from low-income families may not be able to afford smartphones, which can further increase the gap in educational opportunities. 

This can create a divide between students who have access to technology and those who do not, further exacerbating existing socioeconomic disparities.

Lack of Face to Face Interaction

Allowing phones in school can decrease the amount of face-to-face interaction between students and teachers.

Instead of engaging in meaningful discussions, students may rely on their phones to communicate with each other through text or instant messaging. 

This can lead to a lack of social skills, such as verbal communication, nonverbal cues, and the ability to read social cues. This can also lead to a lack of human connection and empathy among students.

Reduced Attention Span

Excessive use of technology, including smartphones, can reduce students' attention spans

The constant notifications, messages, and updates can make it harder for them to focus on a task for a prolonged period. 

This can negatively impact their ability to learn and process new information, leading to poor academic performance.

Lack of Physical Activity

With the use of smartphones, students may spend more time sitting and less time being active. This can lead to health problems such as obesity and poor posture. 

Long-term sedentary behavior has been linked to numerous health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer.

Lack of Critical Thinking

With the internet providing easy access to information, students may become too dependent on their phones to answer questions. Therefore they may not learn how to think critically and independently. 

They may not learn how to analyze, evaluate and synthesize information, which are essential skills for their academic and professional life.

Impact on Sleep

Studies have found that excessive use of technology before bed can negatively impact sleep quality and duration. 

The blue light emitted by smartphones and tablets can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, making it harder to fall asleep. 

This can affect students' ability to focus and learn during the day. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, irritability, and poor academic performance.

Possible Solutions For Allowing or Forbidding Phones in School

Establish Clear Guidelines and Rules For Phone Use

One highly effective solution to the issue of allowing mobiles in school is to establish clear guidelines and rules for phone use in the classroom.

For example, teachers can set specific times during the day when students can use their phones, such as during break or lunch. 

Additionally, teachers can prohibit phone use during class or tests, or require students to put their phones on silent or vibrate during class. 

By setting clear guidelines and rules, teachers can minimize distractions and maintain a positive learning environment in the classroom.

Implement a "Phone Check-in" Policy

Another great solution is to implement a "phone check-in" policy, where students are required to hand in their phones at the beginning of class and pick them up at the end of class. 

This can help minimize distractions and ensure that students are focused on their studies during class time. Teachers can use this time to go over any important information or assignments.

Use Phones as a Learning Tool

School management can take the necessary initiatives to utilize phones as a learning tool. For example, teachers can incorporate apps, like Kahoot or Quizlet, into their lessons to make learning interactive and engaging. 

Teachers can also assign projects that require students to use their phones to research information or create a presentation. 

By using phones as a learning tool, teachers can take advantage of the many educational benefits that phones can offer, while also minimizing the disadvantages.

Educate Students About Responsible Phone Use

Another great solution to the problem is to educate students about responsible phone use. This can include educating students about the potential negative impacts of excessive phone use, such as sleep disruption, decreased attention span, and addiction. 

Teachers can educate students about the importance of digital citizenship, such as how to use social media responsibly, how to protect personal information, and how to avoid cyberbullying. 

By educating students about responsible phone use, teachers can help students develop healthy habits and avoid the negative consequences of mobile use.

Create Designated Phone Use Areas

Creating designated phone-use areas within the school, such as a designated phone booth or a designated outdoor area can be a great solution to the problem. 

This allows students to use their phones in a designated area while minimizing distractions in the classroom. 

This can also be a solution for students who need to use their phones for personal or medical reasons during the school day.

Use Classroom Management Software

A classroom management software, such as Classcraft or Class Dojo, to monitor and control phone use in the classroom can be effective for some schools. 

This type of software allows teachers to monitor student activity on their phones and can block certain apps or websites during class time. 

Besides, teachers can use this software to provide feedback and rewards for positive phone use.

Use Phone Locking Devices

Another solution is to use phone locking devices, such as Yondr or CellControl, which physically lock phones in a pouch or case during class time. 

This allows students to have their phones with them but prevents them from accessing the phone during class. 

This can be a useful solution for schools where students have difficulty following guidelines and rules for phone use.

Use Phone Usage Monitoring Apps

Implementing phone usages monitoring apps, such as StayFocusd or Cold Turkey, to help students monitor and control their own phone usage during the school day can be an effective solution. 

These apps allow students to set limits on the amount of time they spend on certain apps or websites, and can provide notifications when the limit is reached. 

This empowers students to take responsibility for their own phone usage and can help them develop healthy habits.

Final Words

In conclusion, the debate of whether phones should be allowed in school is a complex one that has both pros and cons. On one hand, phones can be a valuable tool for communication, research, and organization. On the other hand, phones can also be a major distraction, leading to decreased focus and engagement in the classroom.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this debate, there are a number of potential solutions that can help to minimize the negative effects of phone use in school while maximizing the positive effects. 

Some potential solutions include creating designated phone-use areas, using classroom management software, using phone locking devices, allowing students to use their phones for translation, using phone usage monitoring apps, and encouraging students to use their phones for note-taking.

It's important for schools and teachers to consider the unique needs and circumstances of their students and classrooms when making a decision about phone use in school. By taking a thoughtful and strategic approach, it's possible to strike a balance between the pros and cons of phone use in school and create a positive learning environment for all students.

Read More

Responsive Classroom Definative Guide Blog Banner

Responsive Classroom - The Definitive Guide

Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to teaching that prioritizes the social, emotional, and academic development of students. It is designed to creat...

Read More
Manage Your Classroom with School Management Software

Classroom Management Plan - The Definitive Guide

Managing a classroom is a complex and multifaceted process that requires planning, preparation, and flexibility. A strong classroom management plan is crucial ...

Read More
Manage your high school with an effective strategy.

15 Effective Classroom Management Strategies For High School

High school teachers and administrators face numerous challenges in managing their classrooms, from student disengagement to disruptive behavior. However, with effe...

Read More