Ohming Technology (www.Ohming.com), a company that develops products that make it convenient to charge multiple devices simultaneously, is weighing in on studies of smartphone usage in schools.
Two professors from Boston College, Vincent Cho and Joshua Litteberg-Tobias, ran surveys in a local high school to determine the effectiveness of smartphones in the classroom. They were able to determine that when used towards classroom activities, cellphones can be beneficial to student learning. (Source: Kowalski, K., “When smartphones go to school,” ScienceNews for Students, March 3, 2016; https://student.societyforscience.org/article/when-smartphones-go-school.)
“We live in an age now where smartphone usage is commonplace,” says Paul Romanenko, the owner and CEO of Ohming Technology. “Particularly among teenagers, smartphones are an essential part of how they communicate with each other and how they source information. Harnessing that in the classroom can be powerful. Trying to shy away from that reality is not logical.”
According to the Pew Research Center in Washington DC, 73% of U.S teens own a smartphone or have access to one. About 90% of teens use smartphones to go online and send texts at a rate of approximately 30 per day. Of those teens, 25% admit that they are constantly online via their smartphones.
“These figures are staggering but not surprising,” Romanenko continues. “Teens have grown up in a culture where cellphones and similar technology are a part of everyday life. Most of these kids literally don’t have a reference for any other way of life, so educators must figure out ways to utilize this reality.”
Cho and Litteberg-Tobias agreed that the ability to access information and group learning are some of the benefits of incorporating smartphone usage into the classroom. They also cite the fact that smartphones reduce the need for textbooks and can be used to develop projects more in line with students’ interests.
“Think about all of the amazing things that are possible on cell phones—all the apps and the possibilities for creating some unique teaching strategies,” adds Romanenko. “If used correctly, smartphones are most certainly an asset.”
There is some concern about the possibility of distraction, as well. Jeffrey Kuznekoff, a professor from Miami University Middletown in Ohio, did a study where he had three groups of his students watch a video on which they would be tested. During the video, one group was able to text any time. The second group was only allowed to text as it related to the video. And the third group wasn’t allowed to text at all. The last group scored 70% higher on the test.
“This study shows that it is definitely important to control cellphone usage and only allow it to be used for matters related to education,” says Romanenko. “There are just too many distractions online or through social media to give students free reign.”
Romanenko says Ohming Technology understands how prominent smartphone usage has become among youth as well as adults.
“Our job is to allow cellphone users to maintain the charge of their device so they can use it for longer periods of time. Being on your cellphone all day means it needs to be consistently reenergized. That’s where our products come in,” Romanenko concludes.
The Charge M.E is the primary product of Ohming Technology. It is a portable charger able to charge both new and legacy cellphones.