Don't peek: the cost of looking at your cell phone in science class
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The purpose of this study was to try to quantify the effects cell phones have on learning in the science classroom. It attempts to show the various ways cell phones affect both students and teachers by taking a closer look at the effectiveness of one specific cell phone policy. The implementation of the new cell phone policy asked students to either put their phone on the side of the classroom or keep it hidden in their backpacks. Data was collected from student test scores, student surveys, teacher notes, and a survey of middle school principals and teachers. This data was analyzed for trends and patterns in order to both quantitatively and descriptively show the effects cell phones have on the learning environment. In the end, this study suggests that students who are separated from their phones perform significantly better than students who keep their phones in their pockets and/or backpacks. However, the implemented policy proved to be an ineffective way of eliminating the cell phone distraction; especially for the students who chose to keep their phone. In addition, this study also showed that removing cell phones may not only improve student learning but also creates an atmosphere that promotes better student-teacher relationships. In conclusion, the research conducted in this study suggests that the proximity of the learner's cell phone as an inversely proportional effect on learning. As such, it is important to continue to find better ways to separate learners from their cell phones for the betterment of everyone in the classroom.