Smartphone technology: Reconsidering Its Value in the Classroom

classroom smartphone

The failure of school districts to keep smartphones out of the hands of students during classroom instruction is largely due to the mechanism’s growing relevancy to academic learning.  Once upon a time, smartphones were believed to be a distraction to academic performance.

However, the creation of more advanced technology and apps has given both students and teachers an advantage when it comes to ease of learning.

The Role of Classroom Technology

Twitter Usage 

For example, teachers can use twitter to send messages to students regarding test reminders, homework, and other instructions. The positive thing about twitter is that students don’t have to read long messages.  The limit of tweet characters stops at 140, short and sweet.  With today’s student’s limited attention spans, sending messages via Twitter is a plus.


Many classes have developed their own Facebook page for the purpose of staying connected with fellow students and teachers. On this page, students can share academic information; receive messages from their teachers regarding homework assignments and much more.

Students can post pictures of fieldtrips, special project participation, and completion, and can stay connected over holidays and school year breaks.

Smartphone apps

The steady increase and quality of cellphone apps have reduced the need for Chromebooks iPads in the classroom, especially for high school students.  Many school districts, having given up on the need of confiscated student phones, now allow teachers and students to utilize smartphone apps for academic purposes.

Some of the most popular apps are Polls Everywhere, Kid blog, Drag Dictation, Wunderlist: a to do list & Task app, Graphing calculator, Cliff notes,  Merriam-Webster Dictionary to name a few. Many of these apps reduce the need for constant text book work, especially for middle school, high school, and college students.

Smartphone technology, via apps, including social media, will inevitably become more widespread as administrators and educators recognize the value it offers in regards to accelerating learning.