There is no doubt that adolescents love their smartphones, tablets, and other devices, but what about school?
As gadgets for teens rapidly take off in their popularity, there has been some controversy that has come along with them, particularly when it comes to the types of advantages and drawbacks to their inclusion in classrooms at school.
Some significant problems are now being faced by both teachers and students, alike, when gadgets enter the class.
Stats from the 2014 Pew Research Center Internet Project Survey of gadgets for teens, showed that among adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 years, just about three quarters have access to a smartphone. Thirty percent have access to a feature phone or a basic cell phone. Only the smallest group in that age bracket – 12 percent – say that they do not have daily access to some type of mobile phone.
Research has also shown that gadgets for teens are keeping them online a great deal more often.
The “Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2013” study conducted by Pew Research Center found that 24 percent of adolescents are “almost constantly” online. This is because smartphones are highly available and can be connected whenever the user wants. This has meant that, as is the case with any new technology, classrooms are seeing both advantages and struggles.
Some of the benefits of having these mobile devices in the classroom include: their use as learning aids, the ability for parents to reach their kids when necessary, an effective memory aid tool, a digital calendar and organizer, voice note taking, GPS emergency tracking for parents to use, and storage for the child’s emergency contact info.
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Among the most common drawbacks of having gadgets for teens in the classroom are: theft, cheating, distraction, illicit pictures, a rise in exposure to online predators, and another factor increasing divisions in socioeconomic diversity.
Due to the benefits, it means that devices do need to remain charged, which means that knowing how to extend battery life with a portable power bank becomes nearly essential. Unfortunately, this has increased demand for those teen gadgets, as well, as was illustrated when a boy used his own Mogix external battery charger to keep his iPad going in class. The coveted gadget was stolen shortly after it was purchased.
The story did have a happy ending, though. The boy’s father left an Amazon review for the device, describing how great it was and that it was a shame that it needed to be replaced due to theft. The company behind the gadget, Mogix, spotted the review and stepped up to save the day. “It was the right thing to do in this situation,” said Dan Leves, the CEO of the company, after he sent the boy not only a free replacement of the portable battery charger, and his entire class received $5.00 off their own purchases of those highly useful gifts for teens.