Cell phones in school undermine learning

Throughout my 26 years of teaching secondary English, parents have routinely asked the same question every year: What can I do to help my child succeed in your class?

My tips typically included suggestions such as: establish a set time and distraction-free place to do nightly homework; ask specific questions about course work; and encourage your child to read, read, read! However, based on my observations in a variety of classes over these past several years, the one most important way parents can help their teens make the most of their time in high school is to insist that they strictly limit their cell phone use to outside the classroom.

Cell phones have become a major...