Should We Ban Cell Phones in Schools Cybertraps Live 90

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News Item: In June 2021, UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson suggested banning mobile phones in schools
– He argued that a ban would help students “remain calm” and overcome the effects of the pandemic
– Some schools expressed opposition, saying individual schools and districts should establish their own policies without government mandate
– Williamson seen as strong opponent of mobile phones in school, pointing to cyberbullying, sexting, and abuse of girls.
– Officials acknowledged that an in-school ban would do little to prevent harm occurring outside of school
– [Note: Williamson subsequently lost his position during a cabinet re-shuffle in September 2021]
– Several countries have limits on in-school mobile use, including:
– Afghanistan
– Australia
– China
– France
– Reframe the Discussion?
– Educators should not view these devices as mere “phones” or communication tools
– Instead, they should be recognized as powerful pocket computers and integrated into education accordingly
“A plan, not a ban”
– Input from students and parents
– Negative Effects of Phones
– Full extent of potential problems still being analyzed
– 2013 study
– students not using cellphones:
– wrote an average of 62 percent more in their notes
– wrote more detailed notes
– recalled more detailed information
– scored one-and-a-half letter-grades higher on assessments
– students with digital devices:
– engage in more off-task behavior
– have more concentration and focus issues
– have a higher incidence of physical and mental health issues.
– 2015 study
– banning mobile phones led to an increase in test scores by an average of 6.4%
– “This is equivalent to adding five days to the school year or an additional hour a week.”
– Greater benefits (2x) for low-performing students
– Similar results from studies in Spain and Norway
– Excessive use can lead to multiple harms, including:
– anxiety and depression
– neglecting other activities
– conflict with peers or parents
– poor sleep habits (sleep deprivation and sleep texting)
– increased exposure to cyberbullying
– poor decision making
– physical harms, including posture, repetitive stress syndrome, vision, etc.
– learning disabilities
– FOMO or cyberchondria(?)
– emotional dysregulation
– decline in conversation skills
– Positive Uses of Smartphones
– keep track of homework
– setting up other reminders
– looking up facts and formulas
– taking photos, videos, or audio of lessons or confusing topics
– note-taking
– accessing education apps
– Impact on the classroom environment and school community
– mobile devices change dynamic between educator and student
– can be used to record and report educator misconduct
– can also be used to harass or embarrass educators
– Are mobile devices (and other digital tools) changing the way students learn?
– Suggestions on mitigating negative impacts of mobile devices
– More sleep
– More playtime (especially outdoors)
– Less time on digital media
– Read more books
– Develop a regular writing habit
– Resources
– #2021–10–30 David Lammy: Ban smartphone use in schools
– #2021–08–16 Plan to ban phones from classrooms is out of touch, say UK school leaders
– #2021–06–28 Education secretary wants ban on mobile phones in English schools
– #2021–05–10 Smartphones are powerful personal pocket computers – should schools ban them?–159826
– #2021–03–21 Banning mobile phones in schools can improve students’ academic performance. This is how we know–153792
– #2021–02–21 Curse or necessity? Schools grapple with whether students should be allowed smartphones
– #2021–02–02 China bans children from using mobile phones at school–55902778
– #2021–01–14 Digital teaching and learning in the smartphone era
– #2020–06–02 Why Principals Worry About How Mobile Devices Affect Students’ Social Skills, Attention Spans
– #2020–01–21 Six ways smartphones enhance learning
– #2019–06–21 Are Students Spending Too Much Time on Mobile Devices During Class? Yes, Educators Say
– #2019–05–14 How should teachers manage smartphone distractions in the classroom?
– #2019–02–27 ‘Students Are Using Mobile Even If You Aren’t’
– #2018–09–21 Schools are banning smartphones. Here’s an argument for why they shouldn’t — and what they should do instead.
– #2018–09–20 France Bans Smartphones in Schools Through 9th Grade. Will It Help Students?
– #2018–08–14 Cellphones at school: Should your kid have one?
– #2016–12–14 9 Uses for Smartphones in the Classroom–2.html
– #2016–12–14 Cellphones in Classrooms, Part 1–1.html
– #2016–03–08 Fomo, stress and sleeplessness: are smartphones bad for students?
– #2015 Ill Communication: Technology, distraction & student performance
– #2013 The Impact of Mobile Phone Usage on Student Learning

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