Arguably the most distracting possession we own is the one either in our hands or pockets almost every moment of the day. Smartphones are as fantastic a tool as they are a distraction, which has led one Nevada teacher to ingeniously and effectively stop smartphone use in class.
After the use of smartphones became a necessary tool for practically everyone in the developed world, many schools now face a massive daily issue. Cellphone use, while banned in most schools during class, has not stopped students from breaking rules to use their phones and distract themselves during class time.
This has caused classes to be continually interrupted by teachers reprimanding students for using their phones and has led to many students becoming disengaged from learning and daily classroom activities.
Spanish teacher Debbie Simon has become hugely concerned by the way smartphones have affected students’ ability to focus and their desire to learn; tired of their misuse and detriment in classrooms, she has literally taken the issue out of students’ hands.
Before class begins, every student must put their phones inside a magnetically sealed pouch, which can only be unlocked after class by a special magnetic base at the front of the classroom.
When this innovative program was introduced in the classroom, Simon was immediately met with much backlash from many of her students. These concerns also were had by many parents, who were worried about how they could reach their children during the school day.
— KTNV Action News (@KTNV) January 26, 2018
The concerns from parents were alleviated after the school assured parents that they could call the school’s phone directly to reach their children, adding that students always have access to their phones in emergency situations. This did not quell initial pushback from students, but the positive effects of the program soon became apparent to everyone involved.
After only a few days of having no phones in class, many students reported feeling more focused and engaged in the classroom. The teacher stated they had never seen their classroom readier to learn and believed the new program could reinvigorate education throughout the entire school and beyond.
After the program had been implemented for a year, a large number of students reported feeling less stressed and distracted during class. Most importantly, students reported a boost in their grades and overall knowledge of the subject.
Since the program was implemented, many more classrooms have adopted the program with great success. The school hopes to have all classes follow the program within the next year and believes positive reactions and results from the students has driven the program to its success. Many other schools have been reported as including similar programs to their daily routines, with most seeing hugely beneficial results for both students and teachers.
Dave Chappelle used to hate it when fans pulled out smartphones. But in late 2015, he discovered Yondr. https://t.co/tkxjxsvAr1
— NYTimes Tech (@nytimestech) October 18, 2016
The banning of cellphones has also extended to other venues such as concerts, where performing artists both wish to remain undistracted while performing and keep the audience engaged, whom they would wish to remain politely attentive.
The societal push to limit the use of cellphones could be hugely beneficial; as taking away the stress of cellphones and leaving us solely in touch with the people and activities around us, even for a few hours a day, could greatly change our lives for the better.