“Banning Phones in Class?” Article by Berry

The Author’s Central Argument of the Article

Technology, specifically digital tools and social media to which they provide access, has gained particularly large significance in the lives of the younger generation. Though the ability to explore technological innovations is essential for children and adolescents, the process may become a distraction to their academic life. However, in her recent article, Erica Berry (2022) argues that prohibiting students from using their devices in class not only fails to solve the issue but, in fact, exacerbates the problem, which is why students should be allowed to continue using their devices in the academic setting.

The Main Points of the Article

The article strikes with its honest portrayal of a teacher’s journey from viewing digital gadgets as a mindless and often potentially harmful distraction for young learners to an entirely indispensable item that encourages learners to develop crucial skills. Specifically, Berry outlines that smartphones and the relevant technology were essential to the effective learning and teaching processes during the pandemic, particularly at the time of the nationwide lockdown (Berry, 2022). Thus, with the normalization of digital technology in class, teachers must accept that present-day learners perceive using t during class as an absolutely normal activity. Therefore, education should not fight the described trend but, instead, make efficient use of it to encourage active learning and development in students.

The Author’s Rhetorical Strategies in the Article

The article is sufficiently convincing and effective in its argument due to the author’s rational use of core rhetoric elements, namely, ethos, logos, and pathos, as the means of supporting the thesis statement. Berry starts her article strongly by establishing its ethos clearly as she explains her role as an educator in the academic life of students: “A few weeks into my return to teaching part-time there spring” (Berry, 2022, para. 1). Thus, presenting herself as a teacher, Berry reinforces the ethos of her story.

Remarkably, the role of pathos is significantly downplayed in the narrative despite the obvious opportunity to introduce an emotional connection to the topic and its core themes. To her credit, Berry (2022) does not abstain from creating an emotional connection with her audiences. For example, she refers to the feelings and the relevant experiences that teachers and students may have when utilizing digital tools and social media devices in the classroom setting: “I do not want my students to feel shame, as I once did when they struggle to reach that ‘flow’” (Berry, 2022, para. 18). However, Berry does not place emphasis on the specified aspect of her narrative, focusing on the logic of the argument instead.

Thus, the logos of the article is what makes it a particularly prominent piece. Berry (2022) structures her argument coherently and logically, introducing clear and convincing arguments. For instance, she intersperses elements of evidence from her personal experience within her narrative while making the statement regarding the significance of digital technology and social media in the classroom as the main point. Furthermore, Berry (2022) does not seek to promote a flat and one-sided opinion on the issue. Instead of either lauding digital communication tools as indispensable and flawless or condemning them as the ultimate obstacle to successful academic performance, Berry (2022) sheds light on both advantages and disadvantages thereof. Specifically, Berry admits that the specified tools can be a “distraction” while also serving as the means to “democratize digital access when the school went remote” (Berry, 2022, para. 18; para. 5). Thus, Berry utilizes the core rhetorical devices effectively in her piece.

Bias in the Article

On the surface, there seems to be no bias or hidden agenda attached to the text. As mentioned above, Berry (2022) seems to represent all sides of the argument fairly and honestly. One could claim that Berry (2022) promoting the necessity to reconcile the current problem regarding the lack of attention for learning among students in the class already represents an agenda that the article addresses. Indeed, the author clearly outlines the fact that students being immersed in their social media interactions and, therefore, being constantly distracted by their gadgets during lessons represents a concern. However, apart from the specified issue, the article does not seem to promote any agenda or attempt to convince its readers to take a certain action or accept a particular product. Therefore, there seems to be no relevant bias attached to the writing.

The Intended Audience for the Article

Educators appear to be the intended audience for this article. Specifically, Berry (2022) appeals to teachers’ reasonability, outlining the necessity to embrace change. Thus, Berry (2022) encourages educators to consider strategies for minimizing the extent of distraction that gadgets provide.

The Purpose of the Article

Overall, the article seems to inform its audience about an issue with students using gadgets during lessons, as well as persuade them that banning gadgets from classrooms is pointless. Specifically, Berry (2022) states that “Students should enter the adult world understanding not only how their devices are addictive but their own addictive tendencies” (para. 16).

The Tone of the Article

Similarly, the tone of the article is serious, academic, and impersonal: “To ban that same phone now because it is also a portal to the rest of the world feels, at best, like an overcorrection, and at worse like an abdication of responsibility” (para. 7). Namely, in the specified excerpt, Berry (2022) addresses educators, in general, encouraging them to reconsider banning phones from class.

The Author’s Strategies to Establish Their Credibility

To establish credibility, the author provides multiple examples from practice. Overall, Berry provides a balanced viewpoint since she considers both the advantages and disadvantages of digital technology.

The Personal Position on the Issue

From a personal perspective, I will have to agree with Berry in regard to the pointlessness of banning cell phones in class. In addition to being inefficient, the specified technique may also turn out to be quite dangerous since a student may need a cell phone to contact a parent or a guardian immediately. Instead of banning phones, educators must consider developing teaching strategies that will encourage students to focus on the learning process rather than their gadgets.


Berry, F. (2022). Banning phones in class? Not so fast. Wired. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. (2023, September 29). "Banning Phones in Class?" Article by Berry. Retrieved from https://chalkypapers.com/banning-phones-in-class-article-by-berry/


ChalkyPapers. (2023, September 29). "Banning Phones in Class?" Article by Berry. https://chalkypapers.com/banning-phones-in-class-article-by-berry/

Work Cited

""Banning Phones in Class?" Article by Berry." ChalkyPapers, 29 Sept. 2023, chalkypapers.com/banning-phones-in-class-article-by-berry/.


ChalkyPapers. (2023) '"Banning Phones in Class?" Article by Berry'. 29 September.


ChalkyPapers. 2023. ""Banning Phones in Class?" Article by Berry." September 29, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/banning-phones-in-class-article-by-berry/.

1. ChalkyPapers. ""Banning Phones in Class?" Article by Berry." September 29, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/banning-phones-in-class-article-by-berry/.


ChalkyPapers. ""Banning Phones in Class?" Article by Berry." September 29, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/banning-phones-in-class-article-by-berry/.