How much are your kids going on their cellphone at school?

Tech Talk Tuesday #44
How often are your kids going on their phones at school?

NBC's Today Show ran a piece this week where 10th grade students at a school in Tumwater, Washington watched Screenagers and then had the chance to do a one-week digital detox and be filmed for TV. Only some kids agreed to do it and the results were unexpected. Watch this with your kids! My kids thought it was really well done.

We hear from teachers regularly about their frustration with kids using cellphones during class. Some teachers are happy that at least there are school policies and systems in place to address this issue, while others feel that policies are not well defined and they don’t have the support they need. 

Whether or not a school has a cellphone policy, kids often find ways around it. I heard of a middle school girl who cut a hole in her book so she could use her phone during "reading time." My own daughter Tessa struggles with the temptation and sometimes goes on her phone during study hall, or even other classes. From time to time I set my OurPact app to block Tessa's social media sites during the school day. We talk about it before I do it and I explain to her why I'm doing it. Basically, I like to see how the day goes—I ask her if it was better not being pulled by her phone. More recently she does not seem to be going on social media very much during school and she is not that bothered when OurPact is on....but I know in this game, things can change quickly. 

In Screenagers, Sherry Turkle refers to a study that found:  “If you’re in a classroom where someone next to you has his device out, your performance degrades as well.”  

For Tech Talk Tuesday this week let's talk about how often we use our cellphones at school:

  • Do you ever use your cellphone during class? If so, for schoolwork? Games? Chat with someone?
  • Are there any great uses of the phone in class?
  • Do you think I (the parent) should not be able to text or phone you at school unless it's an emergency?
  • Do you see lots of kids using their phones at school?
  • Do you think that teachers should be able to make up their own policies about cellphone use in the class? Or, should there be a school-wide policy?
  • What are some of the rules that different teachers have?