The pros of the Electronic Device Policy

Camilla Lewis, Writer

The goal of school is to provide an education, along with a safe and supportive environment for students to grow as individuals. Therefore, it is every student’s responsibility to value and maintain this goal, especially since it is their time and knowledge that is at stake. Yet, with the rise of technology over the decades, there has been a significant increase in digital use, especially among teenagers. In fact, the average amount of screentime that teenagers spend on their phone each day is about 7.5 hours. This screen time can cut into the students valuable time given for classroom learning. The interference of electronic devices while in an educational environment can hinder students’ learning, while also sometimes disrupting the school’s safe and appropriate atmosphere. Foothill Tech’s Electronic Device Policy helps students be more attentive when in an informational classroom setting, while also maintaining a modest and righteous learning environment. 

Ninety-five percent of teenagers in the United States have access to a cell phone, which can be used for communicative, educational and entertainment purposes. Foothill Tech’s cell phone policy allows for students to bring their phone with them to school, however, it also states that the phone must be turned off when in an instructional setting, unless the teacher gives permission otherwise. This helps to minimize the likelihood of students being distracted when learning and also helps guarantee for the teacher that students aren’t cheating.

When one’s phone is turned on, it has a higher salience as a student is more likely to check it when a notification dings or when the screen lights up. This can obstruct the students’ cognitive abilities since it is straying their brain’s attention from one task to another. This task switching makes the brain have a harder time focusing and tires it out. Even if one doesn’t pick up one’s phone and check it after a notification, the lit up screen or ding alone has users wondering the origins and reason behind it, therefore still distracting the mind from the task at hand. 

If a student does not follow the instructors’ set rules for the use of electronic devices, the device may be confiscated from the student and given to the office, where a parent or guardian will have to come pick it up. 

Students’ electronic devices must also be turned off during testing, as well as placed at the front of the classroom with the instructor from the beginning of class until the end. This helps the instructor have more control over what resources the students have to possibly cheat with during exams. One-third of high school students confess to using cell phones to cheat on school tests and exams, which is an act of dishonesty that is unacceptable in the educational system. Foothill Tech values itself as an academically rigorous magnet school and does not tolerate any sort of dishonesty. Therefore, the policy also states that violating these rules “may risk invalidating […] individual or school test scores” and “will result in disciplinary consequences possibly including suspension.” 

When outside of an instructional setting, the Ventura Unified School District (Ventura Unified) Board Policy allows for the use of electronic devices as long as it “is utilized in accordance with law and any rules that individual school sites may impose.” In order to maintain a safe and supportive environment at Foothill Tech, students may not use electronic devices to participate in cyber bullying, illegal affairs or anything inappropriate for an educational setting. 

Although there is an increase in the use of electronic devices, it is important that Foothill Tech doesn’t let them get in the way. Foothill Tech’s Electronic Device Policy does just the thing, as it helps students be more attentive, while also maintaining a safe and supportive environment. 

What do you think?