Should schools ban smartphones in the classroom?
Jun 2023

Should schools ban smartphones in the classroom?

By Claire Donnelly and Meghna Chakrabarti

A new Florida law lets teachers ban smartphones from classrooms.

How do smartphones alter a student’s ability to focus, stay on task, absorb new information, or their self-control?

In short, how do smartphones impact academic and social-emotional learning?

They cannot help but sneak over to different websites: Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok. They cannot resist it. So we need to have some level of control.

Today, On Point: Smartphones in schools. Many districts and now the entire state of Florida have had enough. But is banning them the answer?

Michael: “It requires changing the learning model itself. Instead of assuming that all students should be looking at the teacher in the front of the room, marching in lockstep and various levels of engagement, which as Catherine said, is really important for learning. You can imagine that each student is on their own curriculum. It might be Khan Academy, it might be Duolingo, it might be Quizlet to get reinforcement.

And they’re going at their own personalized path and pace through the learning, actively working on problems, and then joining in on projects to do deeper learning with other students. And so the cell phones become part of the way to actually learn as opposed to a distraction, which I agree with, in a whole class model can be really, really unfortunate.”


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