The Difficulty of Learning from School Cell Phone Use Essay

In this modern age almost everybody has a cell phone on them at all times, whether they are at home, at school, or in the office. Not only parents are carrying cell phones now-a days, children ranging from various ages are in possession of a cell phone for contacting their parents-and learning how to text with them as well. Texting can be beneficial to a child from the continuous use of words, which can be great for their academic learning. It can take quite some time to finish a whole text, which is why almost everybody uses texting “lingo”.

This “lingo” is made-up of pieces of words that make it easier to type and shortens the time it takes to get your message across from phone to phone. For example, when someone wants to convey that something was funny, someone will respond to a text with “lol” which means ‘laugh out loud’. Also when someone wants to ask how someone is doing, it is simply easier to text “how r u? ” rather than “How are you? ” to them. Auto-fill also makes it more convenient by adding a dictionary that predicts what you are going to type in text, called “predictive text. All of these features are extremely convenient when communicating through any cellular device. As convenient as this can be for children, all of this “convenience” actually ends up being a hindrance to academic learning. Too much use of texting “lingo” is used so frequently that it is impeding on how well children read, write, and think in the classroom resulting in a need for a ban on cell phones in elementary school and junior high school premises. Reading is a vital function for everybody. We learn this at a young age.

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This shorthand texting method affects the way we read and look at words and affects the way we comprehend what actually is a word and what is not a word. Being able and willing to learn new words is a crucial skill for reading. People who use their cell phones excessively are less willing to learn new words. Children get so used to the shorthand words that they won’t want to use anything else. It is the modern way to communicate through text. Some believe that texting actually helps when in the classroom.

You get to communicate through the use of English in texting. You memorize how to spell words and if people take the initiative, they could use texting as an opportunity to use correct grammar as well. Timothy Shanahan, president of the International Reading Association writes about how a long time ago, students could still socialize properly in groups, but with all the current technology of cell phones, it has appeared to have been an advantage when it comes to reading and writing. There is simply much more pressure to know how to read than in the past when it comes to conversation, shopping, or work. ” (Literacy and Text Messaging – How will the next generation read and write? ) This all makes sense when there is constant use of spelling words through text, but it does not help when most of the English words are becoming abbreviated and shorthanded. Melissa Tungate from Upper St. Clair High School’s English curriculum leader states that there has been an abundance of abbreviation and lack of punctuation since texting has become more common.

The most common mistake is substituting a lower case “u” for the word “you”. In an article written by Sam Dillon “What Corporate America Can’t Build: A Sentence” Sam states that a teacher had a student text her inquiring about an assignment. The text had said “hI KATHY i am sending u the assignmnet again. i had sent you the assignment earlier but i didnt get a respond. If u get this assgnment could u please respond . thanking u for ur cooperation”(qtd. “Corporate America”) Thinking is vital when it comes to education.

Texting is a distraction that affects children when they try to focus on school work, making it harder for them to think between text lingo and real words. This lingo is mixed in their brain to the point where their mind is racing especially when it comes to English academic education. Focus is being transferred from one subject to another when children have their cell phones out in school. The lingo that children learn from texting gets confused and mixed with actual words that are needed in the real world.

Some believe that texting is an active learning environment and can be used for academic purposes, in which these devices are used to attract students’ attention and will to learn. Melissa Woodson states in her article, ‘The 60-Second Guide To Texting In The Classroom’, how “Teachers who create and implement tech-based learning experiences are not only creating engaging and motivating classroom activities; they are also providing differentiated opportunities for students to master learning in the 21st century classroom” (Woodson).

When people write, they have to know how to spell properly. It is required in order to communicate in a professional manner. Texting lingo can cause children to misspell words. Lingo is used too often to the point that children can’t comprehend the misspelled lingo with the actual spelling of words, causing them to write made up words. Texting usually contains minimal grammar, making it more convenient. This gets easily mistaken where grammar should properly be placed in academic skills.

All of this can be a result in dramatically reduced grades. “Cell phones have changed the way children write English. It’s too common to see this texting lingo such as ‘LOL’ or ‘Srsly? ’ rather than using complete recognized words” Says Gigi Starr, an eHow contributor. ’ Even students admit that they are so used to this type of texting. Montana Hodgen, a 16 year old Montclair student mentioned that she is so accustomed to these abbreviations that she would frequently pass right by them without notice.

She proofread a paper one year only to get it returned back to her with these abbreviations circled in red (qtd. “I think, therefore IM”). There are different sides as to whether cell phones should be banned around school premises, some of which claim that it has improved academic skills. There are dictionaries that are publishing this type of “lingo” and others tend to think that it is a hindrance to learning and should be banned. Maybe all of these opinions are based off of what one grew up with in schools.

Has society gotten to a point where we are forced to accept this technology and start using it to an advantage in academics, or stick with classic pencil, paper, and book method? There is a time for school work and there is a time for social activity. With how much cell phones are affecting grades and comments about this situation at hand from teachers themselves, it is evident that all elementary and junior high schools should issue a ban on cell phones.

Works Cited

DeLeon, Susan Gifford. “BRANDEL, INC.: Literacy and Text Messaging – How Will the next Generation Read and Write?” ADKingmobile.com. Brandel, INC, 06 Mar. 2008. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. Starr, Gigi. “How Do Cell Phones Affect People?”

EHow. Demand Media, 30 Sept. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. Weigand, Jodi. “English Teachers Confront ‘textisms'” TribLIVE.com. Trib Live, 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. Woodson, Melissa. “The 60-Second Guide To Texting In The Classroom.” Edudemic. edudemic.com, 12 July 2012. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.

Dillon, Sam. “What Corporate America Can’t Build: A Sentence.” Nytimes.com. New York Times, 7 Dec. 2004. Web. 7 Mar. 2013.
Lee, Jennifer. “I Think, Therefore IM.” Nytimes.com. The New York Times, 19 Sept. 2002. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.

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