This past summer, CNN reported a country-wide ban of smart phones in French schools. Several other countries have also considered a similar ban of smart phones in schools, largely citing the obvious distraction a smart phone provides students, who should otherwise be focused on school work and classroom participation. But another, less obvious, reason for considering a smart phone ban in schools is a perceived tie to bullying. By limiting a child’s access to social media and other online sites, it also limits the amount of cyber-bullying that can happen – at least during school hours.
Although country-wide banning does not seem imminent in the United States or Canada in the near future, there is growing alarm around smart phone usage in children, and the subsequent effects. As recently reported in this USA Today article, “According to nonprofit family media watchdog Common Sense Media, 24 percent of kids from 8 to 12 years old have their own smartphone and 67 percent of their teenage counterparts do, with tweens using an average of about six hours’ worth of entertainment media daily.”
While it is still largely at the discretion of a school district, or school, whether or not to ban smart phone usage at school, this will likely continue to be a hot area of debate in the education arena. Although technology continues to play a vital role in K-12 education, with continued reports of higher grades and better focus in the classroom as a result of smart phone bans, more schools may implement similar smart phone bans in the coming years. One article published by Katie Wright of BBC News reported that, “A 2015 study by the London School of Economics found that banning phones had the effect of giving pupils an extra week’s education over the course of an academic year.”
Parents should continue to actively monitor their child’s smart phone usage, both inside and outside of the classroom. There are several apps that help parents monitor screen time, sites visited, and other important measures of a child’s smart phone usage. If your child is like most children, and is drawn to technology or prefers an e-learning platform, consider online tutoring. With Club Z!’s online tutoring platform, students can connect with a highly qualified and thoroughly vetted and screened tutor in less than 10 minutes. This is an incredibly effective way to strike a healthy balance between technology usage and educational growth for your child. For more information, call 800-434-2582 today.