Quick Tips: Getting Schooled

Filed Under: Mobile Usage

  • I n addition to environments of learning and education, school has always been a focal point for a teen's social life.

  • In the past, most social interactions were limited to hallway conversations, secretly passed notes during class, during lunchtime and in the schoolyard. In our modern life however, mobile phones have put teen socializing on a completely different level.

    While this readily available communication has many benefits, especially for safety and convenience, it can present challenges when it comes to how kids use their phones in school.

    In class, texting not only is an impediment to learning for the person sending the text (and the recipient, if another student), it's extremely distracting to teachers and the classroom. If students are texting during instruction, how can they possibly learn their subject material?

    Using mobile phones in schools also opens doors to several other complicated issues. The devices can be targets of theft for students, vehicles for rumor spreading and harassment, and methods for cheating. In the latter case, kids are sending and receiving test answers via text, accessing the Internet for answers, taking pictures of tests for themselves and others, and keeping cheat-sheets on their phone's internal notepads. In fact, a recent LG survey revealed that 32% of teens know someone who has sent, received, or forwarded a text message to help someone cheat in class; and 13% of teens admitted that they have helped someone cheat by sending, receiving or forwarding a text.1

  • What To Do About It
  • Be aware of how your child uses their mobile device at school, and be open to the idea that your child might be using their phone irresponsibly. While 13% of teens are actually cheating via mobile phones, only 2% of parents believe their own teen is involved in such behavior.

  • Learn your school's mobile phone policies. If you know the extent to which your kids can use their phones at school, you’ll be better equipped to teach them how to use their devices responsibly.

  • Check your child's mobile phone bill for time of activity and let your child know that you will be doing this periodically. If you see many texts being sent during class time, you can confidently venture that your child is spending too much time on his or her phone and not paying enough attention in class.

  • Ask your child about mobile phone usage at their school. Talk to them about cheating via texting, phone theft, cyber bullying, and other issues.

  • Suggest phone-free times at school, where they turn off their phones except for snack and lunch periods.

  • Emphasize that rules of morality and ethics apply just as strongly to mobile phones as they do to the "real world." Cheating via texting is not acceptable, and it's as wrong as copying from your neighbor's paper (i.e., the "old school" method of cheating).

  • 1LG Text Ed Survey, 2010

Filed Under: Mobile Usage

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