Apps over education


Isaac Goettl

Junior Matt Seykora playing Agario on a school computer during school hours

Isaac Goettl and Logan Gauthier, Writers

Students spend most of their days in classrooms, however, they are often preoccupied with their phones.  Teachers frequently remind their students that they need to pay attention in class, but still the kids play games.  Mr. Matt Olson teaches many classes in the computer labs at OHS. Teaching in the labs can be challenging, many students become focused on playing games, such as Agario, Roblox, and even online slots.  Mr. Olson says, “When students are on their phones or on the computers during class they are distracted and not paying attention to what is actually going on in the lesson.” Students spend most of their time in class playing games, but most students believe they can still be successful despite using their time to play games.  

Common apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Mario Kart, Agario, and Tik-Tok, are taking over the classroom. New apps often tend to trend, the newest trend, Mario Kart has brought students back to the childhood memories that they once played on the Wii.  Since Mario Kart was released on apple products on September 25, The game has been at the top of the app store. Owatonna senior Dalten Wincell said,

Mario Kart reminds me of my childhood, playing Wii on the weekends with my friends. Mario Kart also allows me to relax and grind rainbow road during class.

— Dalten Wincell


Wincell also believes that playing on your phone in class does not affect your learning, “As long as you continue to study and get notes from other students you can still be successful in the classroom.” The new app trend can be seen all around OHS, students in every class are playing Mario Kart on their phones.  Kids constantly talk about Mario Kart in class not only distract themselves from learning but also their classmates as well as teachers. 

Snapchat is one of the most popular apps throughout the school. It is a multimedia messaging app used globally, allowing you to chat and share pictures with others. Often times when students are looking down at their phone during class, they’re quickly responding to one of their friends on Snapchat. Almost every class you go into you will be able to spot a student typing away on their phone, most likely using Snapchat. This app is a favorite of many students in this school. Students often get a notification on their phones that shows who they received a snap from when they get an update kids minds become focused on who snapchatted them and need to respond to distracting them from learning.

Another global phenomenon is Instagram, The app allows students to post pictures or videos that allow their friends to view and comment on.  Instagram allows students to scroll through their friends’ posts, in-class students look at their phones scrolling through social media. Jessica Gregory a senior at Owatonna said, “My favorite app is Instagram, it allows me to get caught up on what my friends did over the weekend.”  Although Instagram may not be as popular as Snapchat, kids will do whatever in order to make the day go faster. Gregory also believes “As students, we need to begin focusing more in school and spend less time staring at our phones.” As a school, grades would begin to rise if we set are phones aside and pay attention in class.

In computer classes, you can often see students playing games on the computer such as Agario.  Students waste their time given in class on research papers and other projects to play games with their friends and waste away the school day.  Unlike many online games at the OHS, Agario has yet to be blocked on computers giving kids easy access to online gaming. “Certain students can become addicted to computer games and can affect their learning by playing games” said OHS teacher Mr. Scott Pierce.  Mr. Olson and Mr. Pierce both teach classes that involve the use of computers, and frequently tell their students to get off of the online games and get back to work. Wasting class time by playing games may seem like a fun thing to do at the time, however, students that pay attention in class often find more success in the classroom.

After Vine was deleted Tik-Tok has taken its place.  Tik-Tok has allowed students to use their creative minds for dancing and singing instead of school.  Students are using school and lunchtime to try and become “Tik-Tok famous”. The time and energy that goes into creating a Tik-Tok is much greater than the effort put into a class. Senior Ruth Livingston said, “A lot of Tik-Toks are very relatable, it allows me to laugh at all the different twists of the video.”  Often times you can find a student in the class or halls creating a Tik-Tok in order for his or her friends to watch later in the day and laugh. Students create Tik-Toks to try and get people to laugh as well as having the enjoyment of making a Tik-Tok.

Apps are wasting kids’ opportunities to learn in school, and many teachers remind them to pay attention but when all else fails, teachers will take the student’s phones away.  In order for kids to get a full understanding of the lecture students to need to focus in class and set their phones to the side for the day. With the many options of apps that students have access too, it becomes challenging for the teachers to keep the students engaged.