Smartphones, Yes or No?
The following represents an ongoing discussion about smartphones and their place in a boarding school setting. The purpose of this thread is to get feedback from parents and interested parties as to their feelings about smartphones in this school. I will attempt to bring up some of the points the faculty have discussed so that you may see the pros and cons of this particular technology.
Smartphones have undoubtedly changed the way we communicate and the way we access information. They can be incredibly useful in accessing otherwise hard to get information. I believe they will become almost standard issue for anyone wanting to use a cellphone in the near future. If you have purchased a phone recently, you will realize that the providers are incentivising you to buy a smartphone over a simple phone. Why might a parent want their child to have a smartphone while at Bass Memorial Academy.
- Access to email at all times
- Video conferencing
- Internet access for school
- Fun gadget to play with
Some parents are concerned with the amount of information that is at the fingertips of today’s youth. With this access comes a lot of responsibility. Here on campus, we have spent considerable money and time customizing an internet filter that will help us harness the benefit of the internet while not needlessly exposing your children to its filth. Smartphones pose another problem. We are unable at this time to filter the content that is streamed to them through your service provider. Potential concerns are as follows.
- Video conferencing with friends
- Access to harmful internet content
- Time wasting games
- Movie and music player
- WiFi hotspot provided to other devices
The real battle comes in not what your child might or might not do, but what another child might introduce your child to in a dormitory setting. Some possible solutions to this issue are to not allow smartphones at all, lock them down so that the internet is not accessible on them (easy on iphone, not as easy on android), or continue to try and monitor their use. The problem with the latter is that more and more students are getting them and this is becoming increasingly difficult.
This discussion is meant to determine how and if we can keep the good while preventing the bad. I need your help and your feedback to determine how to proceed with this potential dilemma. It is our purpose to be fair and thorough in caring for your children and we appreciate your thoughtful input.