Cell Towers and Schools


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By Michelle Choi of Lease Advisors
Digital natives—millennials who have grown up with technology—most likely do not remember a time without cell phones, laptops, and other wireless devices. With the proliferation of digital innovations and applications in nearly every aspect of millennials’ lives, it is no surprise that schools have begun implementing the many uses of mobile phones, tablets and laptops. While most post-secondary individuals remember going to the library to manually look up information in books and writing out assignments, today’s students, rather, develop online research skills with search engines, type out assignments, and even take tests on computers.
“These students are digital natives and we need to treat them like adults,” said Brian McCann, principal of Joseph Case High School in Swansea, MA. He mentioned that educators have a responsibility to teach students digital citizenship which includes being wary of strangers on the Internet and discerning how to interact with others in a digital environment. Students have been allowed to bring their own cell phones to school as long as they know when it is appropriate to use the devices, that is, for use related to the lessons being taught in the classroom.
While communities have typically opposed the construction of cell towers near homes and schools, the increase in usage of connected devices in schools necessitates a network to support the demand. Towers can easily be concealed in structures and small cells attached to and atop buildings around campus. They have the capacity to alleviate the data traffic that digital natives and their instructors require to supplement their lessons. Schools that secure telecom sites on their properties could also bring cellular lease revenue to help fund their programs and initiatives. In an ever-increasing digital environment, the marriage of cellular technology and schools prepares students to navigate and understand the functions, hazards, and capabilities of a digital society  On-site towers also ensure good coverage from deep within schools during emergencies and lock downs.