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Home » Newspaper News

Technology is starting to decrease the attention span of students

April 14, 2014
James F Byrnes Freshman Academy



You’re texting that cute girl/guy and you can’t wait to see what they said; you and your best friend are trying to make plans for the weekend; the song is stuck in your head and you so badly want to plug in your headphones.  But the problem is you are in school, and you should be paying attention.

Many teenagers in S.C. are permitted to use their phones in class for educational purposes, but now some teachers are saying the cell phone policy is being abused.

Today in many schools there is now a policy that allows students to have their cellphones out during the school day; however, they also imply in the rule that cell phones are not allowed in class unless the teacher allows it.

Nearly 80 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 have cellphones and almost half have smartphones.

When someone’s thinking of all the many different things they can do on their phone throughout the school day, their attention span is cut very short.

Ask.com said, “A teenager’s attention span can last for about 30 minutes to an hour if you are lucky. Teenagers are easily distracted when partaking in things that are of no interest to them.”

Lisa Merlo, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the UF College of Medicine, said, “Although cellular phones and personal digital assistants such as the BlackBerry were created to make modern life more convenient, they’re actually beginning to interfere in the lives of users who don’t know when to turn them off.”

There are educational conveniences to having a phone in school.

“I think having our phones out is good so I can look stuff up instead of going to the library and computer lab to look up information on the computer,” Audrey Melton, student at Byrnes Freshman Academy (BFA,) happily stated.

Morgan Zepeda, student at BFA, agreed that having a phone out can be good at times but not all the time during the school day.  She felt that a phone can interfere with a student’s doing his/her work.

Mrs. Vaughn, BFA’s library secretary, said that some students have told her that music helps them focus during school work, but she doesn’t see how people can listen to lyrics, focus, and really engage in their school work at the same time.

Mrs. Vaughn went on to say, “If a teacher is using technology for a lesson, it is a plus to have your cellphones, but sometimes not everyone has technology all the time.”


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