“Schools that ban mobile phones see better academic results” No please don’t.
It has been widely reported that a ban on phones adds up to equivalent of extra week of classes over a pupil’s school year.
“The effect of banning mobile phones from school premises adds up to the equivalent of an extra week’s schooling over a pupil’s academic year”, according to research by Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy, published by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.
This really rankles with me what are we doing, who are they kidding? This sort of research proves that children that are not engaged in the classroom will be distracted and engaged via their phones by something that is interesting.
Banning mobile phones smacks of King Canute. Mobile devices are an essential business tool today, they are everywhere or am I on a different planet? They are here to stay and will become increasingly important in every day education and business; in fact almost any walk of life. Banning them is just wrong.
A sensible policy for the use of mobile phones in the school and classroom that works for students and the teachers makes sense.
It isn’t difficult to agree a policy for mobile phones in the classroom to support teaching and learning. I agree that mobile phones need to be managed within the school so at breaks students should not be using phones but socialising without phones. It is also important for teachers to tell students when phones should be used and when they should be put away.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to school is pretty standard in a number of American schools and further afield too – BYOD helps kids to use these tools effectively and UK schools should have a BYOD policy too.
This is about more than mobile phones, this is about how schools adopt technology to support learning. Mobile phone happen to enable people to send text messages to each other too, which is rather common among children who also like to play games. The problem is that many schools in the UK are still not sure how to use computers in teaching let alone smart phones and other mobile devices.
Take a look at where the UK is in the tables compared to schools in Singapore. There is a clue, if you look at the photographs of students in schools in Singapore every classroom has children with computers and mobile phones. The students are engaged in their learning, the mobile phone is part of their everyday toolset.
Mobile phones are another door through which teachers and schools should be encouraging students to step, not attempting to paper the door over because there is concern about where that door leads.
We need to encourage more children to bring their mobile devices into school and start the debate with their teachers on the topics being taught and what can be found on the internet to help the students, their friends, the teachers and the school.
Mobile phones are here, the tide will not change, banning them is not the right thing; rather we should encourage schools to have a phone policy that incorporates mobile devices into teaching that benefits students, whilst at the same time encouraging students to put their phones away when it is inappropriate for them to be used.