Cellphones at school, what are the rules?

Tech Talk Tuesday #32
What is a phone's role at school?

My daughter is in 9th grade in a junior high, and my son in the high school, and it seems every year they, and I, are not entirely clear on the rules at school around cellphones. Tessa tells me that one teacher has a zero tolerance policy. On the first day he told them that if he catches them with a phone, he will put it on his desk—In this first week, he has not confiscated one during her class.  Another “more chill” (in Tessa’s words) teacher says if you finish your work you can be on your phone. He added that there are “appropriate times to be on your phone and non-appropriate times.”  I’m eager to have a Tech Talk Tuesday tonight with my kids about how this is all working...the different rules, their desire to check their phones versus their need to pay attention, etc. 

When I was filming Screenagers, and now from the many teachers who have seen the movie,  I hear how frustrating the constant distraction of cell phones are in the classroom. 

For Tech Talk Tuesday this week, let's talk about cellphones in the classroom.

  • What are the rules for cellphones in the classrooms at your school?
  • Do you like the rules around cellphone use?
  • If they don't allow cellphones, do you sometimes use them anyway?  
  • What do you use your phone for at school?
  • Have you ever left your phone at home for the day?
  • How often do you check social media in class? How often do you play a game on your phone in class?
  • Do you go on your phone at lunch? Alone? With friends?