Preventing the Apology
A recent article has been making the rounds on social media and other education communities. The article, linked here, makes a bold claim – that educators must ban smartphones, to save our future.
The author makes the argument that use of apps and social media can be addictive and unhealthy. While this may be true, it is the exact reason why schools should be teaching appropriate use of smartphones.
There are two statements most people can agree on. The first, is that students (and even adults) don’t always engage in safe and healthy phone use. The second, is that smartphones and apps are not going away.
Agreeing on these two statements leads educators to an answer that makes sense – appropriate use of technology must be taught in schools.
Teaching Appropriate Use
By allowing students to use smartphones, apps, and other devices, educators have an opportunity to teach students the benefits, as well as the negative impact, that this technology has on society. Appropriate use, a balanced lifestyle, and understanding reliable sources are all skills that can fall within the curriculum of any school.
Rather, if schools ban smartphone use (which the author suggests), students will have to rely on their families to teach appropriate technology use. Some students will learn these skills, of course. But many others will fall short in this area, considering most of the technologies used today didn’t exist 10 years ago!
Ultimately, allowing the use of smartphones, apps, and other devices in schools is a necessary change. Schools must not only utilize these technologies, but must also teach appropriate use of them. Schools that ignore the growing importance of these life skills do their students, their community, and our society a disservice.