ED Pulse Poll Results: Should Cellphones Be Allowed at School?
ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked readers if they believe students should be allowed to bring and use their cellphones at school.
While families struggle with the right age for a child to have a cellphone, schools continue to struggle with whether or not cellphones should (and how) be used in school. A 2010 Pew Internet & American Life Project study found at that time that over half cell-owning teens at schools that ban phones have sent a text message during class.
Since that time, the expanded use of the cellphone overall and the uses for devices in school has increased tremendously. Recently a school district in Pennsylvania struggled with making this decision and its implications for safety, distractions in the classroom, privacy, and bullying. Since students are bringing them to school whether or not they are allowed, some schools are re-considering their previous "no cellphone policy."
ASCD SmartBrief readers voiced their opinion on the cellphone debate with a strong majority (66 percent) indicating that students should be allowed to bring and use cellphones at school and use them as a learning resource in class. Another two in ten felt that cellphones should be allowed but not used in class (22 percent). Just over ten percent felt cellphones should remain banned in schools.
This survey question was included in ASCD SmartBrief, a free daily e-mail news service that provides summaries and links to major education stories and issues, which has more than 215,000 subscribers. Using ED Pulse, the weekly online poll, data was collected from 570 readers, starting on July 10, 2014. Online surveys do not provide a random sample, as participants are self-selected, meaning that a margin of sampling error cannot be calculated or quoted. In addition, the population and sample are limited to those with access to computers and an online network. However, online surveys have been shown to produce results that have proven to be reliable predictors of outcomes, including election results. If you have a question on education that you would like to see addressed in a future ED Pulse poll, feel free to submit it in the comment section below, along with any other comments.
Kit Harris is the marketing research lead at ASCD. The quantitative and qualitative research work done is in support of strategic initiatives in marketing, membership, product/program/service development, and conferences/meetings. Harris started her career in Chicago at a marketing research firm, then moved to D.C. to serve as the research director at advertising agency Earle Palmer Brown & Associates. Prior to coming to ASCD, she ran her own research firm.