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Mobile phone use G7-10

Community Contributor
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A local High School (G7-10) has just banned smart phones from their classrooms, France has done a similar thing across the whole country.  Many  teachers I have spoken to feel this is a good idea.  They have seen the effects on younger teenagers.  Who are unable to focus for any length of time, anxious and depressed, unable to put the phone in their locker; "Something might happen", "Mum needs to be able to call me", "I need to know - it might be an emergency".  I personally witnessed the meltdown in class of a student whose mother had contacted her, during class, to let her know the beloved family dog had been put down.  

The social interactions with people outside school take precedence over any learning.  These students are anxiety driven and minor disagreements blow up into major incidents. 

This is not the majority of students, but a growing minority who are often struggling at school.  

Is the solution a total ban?  I can see wonderful opportunities for students to use their mobile devices in good productive ways but I do wonder if the immature teenage brain is ready to accept the responsibility of using the device in a constructive manner, I think many see their phones only as entertainment and communication devices rather than for learning, work or organisation.

I do not have a solution. Yet........

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Community Participant

Personally, I feel we do students a disservice by using blanket bans instead of teaching responsible use.  Mobile devices are more than just distractions or entertainment machines; for most people, they are the single most significant item of technology they will ever own.  I personally almost exclusively access information using my smartphone; it is the primary way that I access work related communications and even the way that I access of the majority of my textbooks at this point.  Students need the opportunity to practice use of technology in an environment that shapes and reinforces appropriate behaviour; without this, how do we expect them to handle their newfound freedom responsibly when they graduate? 

I think that one day, the idea of banning mobile devices from schools will seem as comical as the idea of banning books.