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Phones are distracting students in class. More states are pressing schools to ban them

www.nbcnews.com Phones are distracting students in class. More states are pressing schools to ban them

In Maryland, a chemistry teacher says students use gambling apps to place bets during the school day.

Phones are distracting students in class. More states are pressing schools to ban them

In California, a high school teacher complains that students watch Netflix on their phones during class. In Maryland, a chemistry teacher says students use gambling apps to place bets during the school day.

Around the country, educators say students routinely send Snapchat messages in class, listen to music and shop online, among countless other examples of how smartphones distract from teaching and learning.

The hold that phones have on adolescents in America today is well-documented, but teachers say parents are often not aware to what extent students use them inside the classroom. And increasingly, educators and experts are speaking with one voice on the question of how to handle it: Ban phones during classes.

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  • Also any kind of emergency can happen while a kid is at school, the obvious one for the americans is an active shooter but it could be anything even an earth quake or other disaster where it all of a sudden becomes very important for each student to have their own line of communication available.

    • People always say this, but somehow society and schools did manage to function before 2008.

      We know that access to phones causes significantly worse student performance. Is it really worth harming all students' ability to learn just so that, in the event of a rare emergency, a family can get an "all good" message a little bit faster? Schools were perfectly able to locate and track their students during emergencies and notify families before smartphones existed, speaking as someone who was in an extreme weather emergency during school myself during that time.

      • Yeah, I feel like the only way it would be useful is in the very unlikely event you somehow get cut off from everyone else. Parents likely can't do anything useful until the emergency is over anyway and I don't know who else you would call that the school wouldn't already have called.

      • Why 2008? Why arbitrary year?

    • You don't have to lock it up right away. In Germany, at least the school I went to, we're allowed to have them on us, they have to stay in the pocket or bag and should at least be in do not disturb or silent mode. Otherwise, only then teachers take it away and you have to retrieve it from the admin office when you leave. (It's more relaxed too in the last two years when you're around 18, I'm pretty sure in a lot of classes I just had it on the desk when teachers didn't mind. It still had to not cause distractions though.)

      Generally this worked well (though, I left our equivalent of high school in 2019, no idea how it is now), except in some classes with oblivious teachers. But I feel like in those cases, you can make all the laws you want and it won't fix shit.

      • In Germany, at least the school I went to, we’re allowed to have them on us, they have to stay in the pocket or bag and should at least be in do not disturb or silent mode.

        It's a perfectly reasonable policy that many, if not most, US Schools either had or still have. The problem is that Students are increasingly refusing to comply with Social Order rules like this and Teachers increasingly don't have the authority or ability to enforce them when they're broken. The policy only works when the majority of people willingly comply, just like nearly all of the other rules / policies / laws that society creates.

        So what does a Teacher do when 15 of their 20 students have their phones out and are using them in class?

        • Teachers increasingly don’t have the authority or ability to enforce them when they’re broken.

          Well, I feel like this is the main problem then. If teachers aren't allowed to enforce any rules, what are we even talking about here. Especially kids will do anything they can get away with. (I certainly did my fair share of shenanigans too.)

          The policy only works when the majority of people willingly comply, just like nearly all of the other rules / policies / laws that society creates.

          So what does a Teacher do when 15 of their 20 students have their phones out and are using them in class?

          Really? I think this is very different since it's in a controlled environment with a relatively small group of people. Or at least, it should be. The teacher should very reasonably be able to take all of those away. And if not, here they certainly had the ability to escalate.

          • The teacher should very reasonably be able to take all of those away.

            I agree that they should be, but increasingly they can't. It's being prevented by a bunch of entitled students and the dumb-ass parents that support them. Even in this Post here on Lemmy you can find people arguing that students should have on demand access to their smartphones.

    • What would a phone do in the case of a school shooter or earthquake exactly? During a school shooting, kids are advised to be as quiet as possible. An earthquake isn't something a phone call can solve. You don't need phones in classrooms.

132 comments