Smartphone, tablet use in the classroom

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 18, 2014

By Jim Towler

Guest Columnist

I am opposed to any such electronic device as smartphone or tablet being used in a classroom. If I were the ultimate authority in school matters, I would not allow calculators in class until the senior year. For over seven decades I have gotten along just fine without a smartphone or iPad or tablet etc.

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Before using electronic devices, individuals needed to learn how to use the greatest computer ever created. Not manufactured, but created. These days too many people do not know what to do unless they can press a key on a device and get instructions. They do not have the ability to think for themselves nor reason through a problem or situation.

I am appalled to see families in a restaurant, each having an electronic device in their hands instead of communicating with each other. This includes four- or five-year-olds playing games and not learning how to behave out in public.

Over the years, while in a place of business, I’ve had to give employees a math lesson in order for me to get the correct quantity of an item I was purchasing, if square feet or linear feet were involved, or the number of bags needed to total a certain number of pounds etc.

For those of you who are old enough to remember, in western movies there often was a scene in a saloon or courtroom when the men were required to “check their guns at the door.” If you come to my house for a visit, you are asked to “check your phone at the door.” If you come for a visit, we are going to visit with each other and not someone in a remote location.

Do you recall when we were told to conserve electricity and, not send so many batteries to the landfills? All the electronic devices have batteries that need to be recharged all the time and when batteries are replaced, the old ones are sent to the landfill. Very few communities have battery recycling drop-off points.

It is my sincere belief that the youth of today (all of them in the USA) need more guidance than at any period in my lifetime. Person to person and face to face is the most effective way to communicate ideas and morals. I hope adults will realize that electronic toys and gadgets should not come between them.

The “greatest generation” defended and built this nation to greatness without Facebook, twitting, tweeting and texting. All of the “greatest generation” had to rely on was the “greatest” computer ever created… the human brain.