I am writing to you to express my opinions about your recent article (Should mobile phones be banned in schools? – 27/11/12). This subject is definitely a hard topic to discuss due to the fact mobile phones have made a huge impact to our generation. I was intrigued by the writers’ perspectives and by the contrast of their viewpoints.
In the first paragraph of Barkham’s article, he talks about the many fears of teens having the ability to use their devices in school. These include how it may “unleash cyber bullying” and how people may break rules by taking a “video up teacher’s skirts”. However, the fact that he uses the terms “strangely feared” and “assumed” declares that he believes these worries to be silly and nonsensical. He points out how the schools are against this modern leap are unable to afford their own IT facilities and yet continue to “ignore the powerful computers in every pupil’s pockets.” Barkham highlights what could be taken as hypocrisy and complete disregard on the school’s behalf, and how moving past this could prove to be very useful for everyone involved. He also praises how phones are a revolutionary product.
To back up his argument, the writer notes how he went and got first-hand information about the matter. In this paragraph, he tells us about how teachers find it “useful” having students with phones in class. So useful in fact that they even created a new acronym for the term, BYOD (Bring Your Own device). Referencing another teacher, Barkham declares that “this is the future.” This is due to the fact that using their own “trusted devices” is better than computers they would be unable to take home with them. He notes that it would be a lot more productive as more would end up being done.
As a conclusion he diminishes a few of the drawbacks against phones being used in class, explaining how school provides its own Wi-Fi so students are not “paying for their own study.” This is beneficial to those who cannot afford to do so. The last reference talks about how students come to school “without a coat” or having had any “breakfast” and yet they always manage to have their phone. This highlights how pupils clearly find it of more importance therefore will not forget to bring it in with them, showing how useful phones could be if they were allowed
Stephen Moss disagrees with Patrick Barkham and says that mobile phones should be banned in school. He appears more logical and factual than Mr. Barkham. He claims that they’re “curse of the modern age” which is quite strong way to describe mobile phones. Nonetheless, it grabs the attention of the reader. He mentions that mobiles sidetrack students from studying. Also, students can use their devices to bully other peers or to humiliate staff. This shows that mobile phones can become a cause for serious incidents if they are allowed in school.
Stephen Moss then gives a quote of a Mr. Fenn, who is a teacher, that mobiles was distracting learners from education and having dealt with them, “our experience was a nightmare.” Mr. Fenn then banned mobiles, which decreased cyber bullying and improved behaviour. It suggests that mobile phones may have been a target of students’ negative attitude. Mr. Moss has stated that a teacher union, NASUWT, supported a classroom ban. Most people would agree on a classroom ban because it had given an alternative ban that was more acceptable solution.
Overall, Stephen Moss had strong arguments. He anticipates counter arguments by saying an outright ban on mobiles would be “unpopular” and hard to enforce. Although most of his arguments are strong, there are some weak points. Mr. Moss’ first sentence had sturdy use of vocabulary but it was only stated as an opinion. This didn’t really help the readers agree with Mr. Moss but it had got them curious on what he had say.
From what I have read, I agree with Stephen Moss. Using a mobile phone in school can cause a bad concentration and will decline the learning atmosphere. It is not possible to use a mobile phone and pay full attention to the lesson. They can also disturb teachers and students. According to The Guardian, an online poll showed that most schools do want to ban the mobile phone. This is because it is a very distractive and sometimes also a disruptive device. Moreover, mobile phones provide a large temptation to cheat in tests. They can communicate to almost anywhere and anyone in the world. Due to the fact they are small, students can quietly and discreetly send a text and it can go unnoticed.