Should Handphones Be Allowed in the Classroom?

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TOPIC: Should handphones be allowed in the classroom? Today, almost every teenager has a handphone. According to research, 85% of young people in Singapore own a handphone. Primary and secondary schools in Singapore allow their students to bring their mobile phones to school but ban their use in the classrooms. However, by doing so, they are missing the opportunity. Many educators and parents may argue that mobile phones are a source of distraction in the classroom. Lessons may be disrupted by the ringing or message tones from handphones. Students may become distracted by constant updates from social networking sites, as well as stray to games or the myriad of other diversions. Nonetheless, there is a solution to every problem. Firstly, most students carry smartphones with many useful functions which can make everyday classroom tasks easier and more efficient. For instance, the students can use the voice recorder to tape lectures or the camera to take snapshots of the whiteboard. The calendar function also lets students keep track of their homework and school schedules. Furthermore, schools should harness the capabilities of the handphone to empower engaged learning. Many smartphone applications can be exploited for teaching and learning. Google Earth allows pupils to find out more about the places they are learning. In addition, smartphones these days are armed like mini-computers. They have internet browsers which let students do research instantly in the classroom. Since most schools cannot afford one laptop per student, they should capitalise on the mini-computer that almost every student has in his or her pocket, so that they can save their limited budgets for other more urgent needs. To conclude, if we use a little imagination, we can turn the handphone into a powerful tool for teaching and learning.
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