By Morgan Schilling ’21 & Chris Vanderhart ’21
Freshman hall: closed. When most think of the freshman and their respective hallway in Regis Jesuit, the smallest kids in the school come to mind, scrambling around trying to find their way to new classes. While this may not always be the case, they have been the focus of many discussions by teachers and admin recently. Earlier this February of 2018, school officials decided to no longer allow students to stay in the hallway during lunch in an effort to decrease the amount of video games played during school hours. While the decision was controversial and many students disagreed with it, research shows that students use iPads in distracting ways the majority of the time.
A third of students in a Quebec school were surveyed about the use of iPads in class and if they game during school hours. About 99% of those who were questioned said that they played games during school and found it distracting, according to the study. What would the numbers look like if we asked Regis Jesuit students? Although iPads bring about a certain portability and helpfulness, they also bring the risk of distraction during class and breaks.
Many are guilty of gaming in the hall during academic support or lunch here at RJ. But it’s not all about distraction. It is seen as a way to relax and to deal with the demands of high school. When freshman Taylor Rael was asked to share his view on gaming, he said, “I game because it is fun to play in-between classes and it helps with stress. It is also a good way to connect with my friends.”
Mr. McPhee, a freshman teacher, thinks “It’s promoting non-social interaction and it’s effecting our social health because although we are sort of communicating though games, it’s not real,” he says. “Technology causes us to lose the interactions that we should have and gaming definitely adds to that.”
McPhee is worried about the social effects rather than the educational effects. If this is indeed true, then closing off the hall would be a smart decision and would benefit the students because they would obtain more and better social interactions.
This debate of whether iPads and games harm learning is talked about by many not just in the Raider community. The American Physiological Association states, “playing video games, including violent shooter games, may boost children’s learning, health and social skills, according to a review of research on the positive effects of video game play to be published by the American Psychological Association.” To see more on their thoughts, click here
It is hard to know how games really do effect students in an educational environment. Closing the hall could be the right decision for the students to improve social skills.
However, if what the APA said is true, then closing off the hallways during lunch would actually be harming the students and limiting their capabilities. Both sides are valid. This decision will probably decrease the amount of gaming but it will not abolish games.
What do you think is the right action to take?