Wi-fi Ban Creates Outrage from iPhone User

A trip into any classroom now reveals a sense of loss attention, as students stare blankly at mobile devices that will not connect to the school wifi, and, as a result, are rendered useless. I understand as much as the next kid, before this change, the use of smartphones and tablets around the building was often nonacademic. However, eliminating the entire system blocks the curricular avenues as well. Many teachers use websites such as Schoology or Google Classroom to update their classes–updates that may be necessary during the school day. Students can’t even check grades between classes, something I do regularly. Despite this, the combination of slow wifi and the continuing phone “problem” has forced the administration to the only natural conclusion: ruin it for everybody.

From what I’ve seen over the past for years, the root of this constant struggle between teachers and technology is simple distraction. Why pay attention to a math lesson when you can stream Netflix and waste time on Twitter? Every student has been there, myself included. Sometimes the motivation to sit in a plastic chair and take notes just isn’t there. So, to the Internet, we turn.

Thus, the futile fight. Some teachers ban phones altogether; others accept defeat and ignore the deviance. I see the annoyance. I’d want my class to be engaged. But the crucial element of this battle is often overlooked: the students. These are our classes, our hours, our grades. If a student chooses to disregard academia, and fail as a result, that’s their prerogative. Or, if, somehow, they manage to pass from behind their screens, more power to them.

When it all boils down, the issue is respect. Disconnecting every student from the wifi will not end the war; blocking Twitter can not force kids to pay attention. It’s about respect. Does a student respect their teacher, and their education, enough to stay off their phone? If not, there’s nothing you can do.