Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: Should Cellphones Be Allowed at School?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked readers if they believe students should be allowed to bring and use their cellphones at school.

While families struggle with the right age for a child to have a cellphone, schools continue to struggle with whether or not cellphones should (and how) be used in school. A 2010 Pew Internet & American Life Project study found at that time that over half cell-owning teens at schools that ban phones have sent a text message during class.

Since that time, the expanded use of the cellphone overall and the uses for devices in school has increased tremendously. Recently a school district in Pennsylvania struggled with making this decision and its implications for safety, distractions in the classroom, privacy, and bullying. Since students are bringing them to school whether or not they are allowed, some schools are re-considering their previous "no cellphone policy."

ASCD SmartBrief readers voiced their opinion on the cellphone debate with a strong majority (66 percent) indicating that students should be allowed to bring and use cellphones at school and use them as a learning resource in class. Another two in ten felt that cellphones should be allowed but not used in class (22 percent). Just over ten percent felt cellphones should remain banned in schools.

This survey question was included in ASCD SmartBrief, a free daily e-mail news service that provides summaries and links to major education stories and issues, which has more than 215,000 subscribers. Using ED Pulse, the weekly online poll, data was collected from 570 readers, starting on July 10, 2014. Online surveys do not provide a random sample, as participants are self-selected, meaning that a margin of sampling error cannot be calculated or quoted. In addition, the population and sample are limited to those with access to computers and an online network. However, online surveys have been shown to produce results that have proven to be reliable predictors of outcomes, including election results. If you have a question on education that you would like to see addressed in a future ED Pulse poll, feel free to submit it in the comment section below, along with any other comments.

Kit Harris is the marketing research lead at ASCD. The quantitative and qualitative research work done is in support of strategic initiatives in marketing, membership, product/program/service development, and conferences/meetings. Harris started her career in Chicago at a marketing research firm, then moved to D.C. to serve as the research director at advertising agency Earle Palmer Brown & Associates. Prior to coming to ASCD, she ran her own research firm.

Comments (28)

Klea Scharberg

November 24, 2014

Hello, Albert Gallatin students.

Walker Dunn

November 26, 2014

As I student there is times where phones have a use in school. But times there isn’t and people are on them. I personly don’t they should be allowed


December 4, 2014

I am a student currently, and I believe that we should not be allowed to have cell phones


December 4, 2014

I am a student and I believe that we should not be allowed to have cellphones in school. I want to get a good education and using my phone in school is a major distraction for me, and I know it is for other students too!!!! If we use cellphones in school people will go onto social media apps and take pictures of other students and post them online. Also, people will not do their work, and that will lead to bad grades.

Klea Scharberg

December 10, 2014

Hello, Douglas County School District students.


December 11, 2014

i am a student and I truly think that kids should be allowed to bring their cellphones to school because it’s apart off you’re education and you use them for emergences purpose too

Noah Merritt

December 15, 2014

I am a Tri-County Area Schools student thinking we need cellular phones its a good tool for the classroom and it give them something to do at lunch

Bailey congdon

December 18, 2014

Cell phones can be used as a useful resources I am a student myself


January 7, 2015

I am a student myself and I think that Cell phones are a part of life. I think that we should use them in class for help


January 28, 2015

cell phones are awesome and that’s why we should take advantage of the light weight. they can hold many school book as on them. and we should just be able to use them


January 28, 2015

I think that cell phones should be allowed in school for these reasons:

1.Cell phones can come in handy when dealing with plans and schedules.

2. Parents can monitor their children’s whereabouts before, during, and after school.

3. Cell phones allow parents to easily communicate with their children.

josie spratt

February 2, 2015

yes they should because i said mhmmh


February 6, 2015

Phones should be allowed in school for multiple reasons such as trying to get a hold of parents, or asking them something and you can use it as a calculator, or a tool to find out how to spell words and if taking pictures is a problem in schools of other students then the teachers should watch for a phone to go up and see a flash then they should take the phone and delete the picture and have the parent or grandparent pick up the phone… DOUSES


February 10, 2015

This is good info

tHROW UP mcpooppants

February 11, 2015


Jonathan Neuhoff

February 18, 2015

Yes, as a student I find cell-phones very useful.  Although many teachers disagree, but there are some allowing it.  Cell-phones are very handy especially in subjects as Technology, Science and even maths because sometimes watching a video or Googleing about a specific problem can be understood with more ease than over complicated definitions an illustrations provided in textbooks.

Klea Scharberg

March 5, 2015

Hello, Gig Harbor, Washington, students.


March 5, 2015



March 13, 2015



March 13, 2015

hello everybody my name is Ch1ckenW1ngs503 im verry glad to be in this children blog because i just wanted to talk to other people around my age because i was thinking we can talk about why students should be able to use their phones in school

Klea Scharberg

March 13, 2015

Hello, New Haven Public Schools students.

Jordyn Warner

March 16, 2015

Hi we are a group of girls at simle middle school wondering if you could talk to us about “should cell phones be allowed in school” for an English project and our teacher is telling us that we can email people about our topics to get information on this topic so please email us back. So please email us back if you are for or against and some more information about this topic.


March 16, 2015

Bruh of course they gotta be allowed

Lon Pratt

March 18, 2015

Hello! I believe that cellphones should be allowed, but only at the cafeteria and the hallways! It would make us happy, and that would lead to better grades! (Studies show)


April 24, 2015

Hey Montgomery County Public Schools

A student

May 6, 2015

I am a student and I don’t think that cell phones should be allowed during school. Well, maybe during lunch and things, but not in class. They are useful for parent/child communication before and after school, but you shouldn’t have to talk to your parents in the middle of class. You can use the school’s phone if you really need to, and when there is a dangerous situation, rumors can spread fast through the use of cell phones.


May 7, 2015

i think u need little more informationa for me to look at your writing


May 19, 2015

  I am a student, and I think phones shouldn’t be allowed in school, remaining that way because students that have A+ grades could be distracted with their phones and have straight F-.. Plus the phone radiation is NOT I say NOT good for you!

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