It seems to me that you have a choice – you either embrace them or ban them.
The downside – they are a distraction with kids keeping checking their phones, playing games on them or sending messages.
They are used to bully other kids.
It encourages a shallow culture of celebrity and mindlessness.
The upside – They can be used in lessons to upload knowledge, access tables, record information, photo or video equipment and present info to the teacher.
Many students write faster on a phone than they do in a book.
Knowledge access is as it is in the real world.
Kids enjoy using phones and IT.
It used to be that kids loved doing scientific experiments and investigations but hated writing it up.
Now they can video the experiment, download a table and fill it in and write up their results. It’s quicker and they enjoy it.
We use to have to drag them over to the IT room or bring in expensive IT equipment. We have no need now.
I’d ban all extraneous phone use (games, calls etc) but get the kids to use them in class to use for knowledge or investigations/experiments.
Phones can be a great thing – and they are the tools of the modern world!!