Students should be mindful of their cellphone use

Posted on Monday, 12/9/2013 6:09 PM

It's hard to go out and not see someone using a mobile phone. Even in places that advise against the use of cellphones, such as libraries and movie theaters, at least one person is probably tapping the screen on his or her device.

In this day and age, it seems like everyone has a mobile phone of some sort. According to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 91 percent of American adults owned a cellphone as of May 2013. Meanwhile, 56 percent of U.S. citizens had a smartphone. As mobile phones have become such a big part of everyday life, it only makes sense that teachers would find ways to integrate them into their students' academic experience. However, there are a few things these educators should know before they do so.

Too much cellphone use a health risk?
In a study that was released this past August, researchers at Kent State University found that high cellphone use was linked to poor fitness among the college students who participated in the research. Although these findings apply to degree seekers, there's no reason why they couldn't also reflect high schoolers' mobile phone habits,

According to the study's results, which appeared in a Kent State press release, low cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with high cellphone use. Fitter students also happened to be those who used their mobile phones the least.

"Now that I have switched to the iPhone I would say it definitely decreases my physical activity because before I just had a Blackberry, so I didn't have much stuff on it," said one of the study's participants, as quoted by the press release. "But now, if I'm bored, I can just download whatever I want."

Cellphone use makes students unhappy?
Kent State researchers were not finished looking at the effects cellphone use has on students, based on a recently released study. The research, which takes a look at mobile phone use among more than 500 students, found a connection between how often they used the devices and their level of happiness and anxiety.

A press release from the university revealed that higher anxiety and lower satisfaction with life were evident among those who had a high frequency of cellphone use. As a result, educators at all levels may want to consider how ready their pupils are to run student software on mobile phones in the classroom. Too much of the technology could prove problematic in the long run.

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