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Mobile Phones in Lessons

So, I was trying to think about this new mobile phone idea of banning them. I then decided to ask a few people what they thought.

I will start with the positive reasons why we should use them, which is a rather long list (not exhaustive) and finish with the few problems and mitigations.

I think we all need to think long and hard about this, as I personally think everyone can make this work, but it needs careful thought. Also if you are training pupils to become adults, what is the best plan, a blanket ban or a policy which works in your school to produce a child who can use a phone for learning and then finally become an adult who behaves responsibility. To do this we usually need to model this behaviour and make a positive behavioural routine, not ban things.

Research is Mixed…

On a positive note, Danish scientists said the harm done to student learning was easily overblown. Mobile phones might well be distracting, but students have always been distracted, they argue, gazing out the window, staring at the ceiling or passing notes while the teacher is deriving pi from first principles. I think this is pretty key and to be honest so many teenagers would instead just stare into space or pretend to engage. The best lessons are where learning is infectious and pupils want to learn and maybe their most prized possession will help them do it, in some cases and in others not. There is no need for a phone when you are discussing and writing down a maths calculation. However, if the teacher has finished and there are five more examples to review a phone is ideal for having a look at what you want. Like a mini projector which you can control! It all depends on how you think about it, but maybe the key is if the teacher is in control mostly and pupil follows their lead.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2023/jul/26/distraction-cyberbullying-key-concerns-phones-uk-schools

Positives…

  • Interactive Quizzes so they interact with you
  • Finding facts for lesson for engagement
  • No different to laptops or tablets
  • Contact home for support
  • Lock down issues – can report directly to Police
  • Diabetes apps
  • Self-Harm/ Meditation support apps
  • Suicide hotline
  • Mark schemes – save paper and allow for different versions
  • PowerPoints & documents
  • Organisation tasks / Calendar
  • NFC Comms / Cashless Systems
  • Door entry for secure areas
  • 2 factor auth which is becoming standard
  • Calc apps / Graphing Apps
  • Maths support apps
  • AI – model answers & research
  • Torch – for Physics lesson
  • Video and images of Lesson content
  • Making video as an activity
  • Positive memories of school
  • Tracking of Phones by parents to know where they are
  • Data logging – in Science
  • Computing – making your own apps
  • Unifrog Careers work
  • TEAMS content / Messages from teachers about work or activities
  • Stargazing in the day!
  • Youtube!
  • Editing a photo in art to change it to something else, i.e. a filter
  • If you don’t have a dictionary
  • Translation
  • Audio conversion with headphones
  • Duolingo!

Possible Issues…

  • Video of fights or incidents (but can be trained by teachers not to do it, also provides evidence of bullying which can be of use)
  • Use in class (teacher can take them in when required)
  • Cheating in tests (take them in when required)
  • Bullying (find out those doing it and stop them)
  • Disruption to lessons (take them in during a lesson if they are an issue)
  • Phones ringing (if it is an issue, take them in)

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