2.2.6 Potential negative effects of mobile devices in classrooms

While there are important opportunities and possibilities for the use of mobile devices in educational settings, there are certainly potential negative effects as well, including the following:

  • Without proper training and planning, the introduction of new technology into the classroom can distract from the core educational missions of schools and educational institutions.
  • Without some combination of training, enforcement, or access restrictions, mobile devices run a significant risk of distracting students – and teachers – from educational pursuits.
  • Similarly, access to mobile devices in the classroom creates additional opportunities for students to cheat, whether by researching test answers or sharing work with other students.
  • If mobile devices are tightly integrated into lesson plans and curricula, the lack of a mobile device – whether due to affordability, loss, damage or other reasons – can put students at a disadvantage relative to their peers.

While these effects are not limited to mobile devices, the fact that mobile devices are, almost by definition, relatively small, can make it more difficult for educators to monitor their use.

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