Cell Phones in Education
95% of teenagers have access to a smartphone, and over 60% of students admit to using their phones during classroom instructional time for non-educational purposes. Many studies have been released over the last decade proving time and again that students are generally not mature enough to ignore the distraction that cell phones (in the form of texting, social media, or games) present. Please read through the two key points below that will help your child be more successful in their educational environment.
Parental Controls: Consider restricting the times when your student can access specific apps on their smart phones. Parents/Guardians can "lock down" their student's smart phone to only allow them access to these distracting apps (such as SnapChat, Social Media, Games, etc.) OUTSIDE of the school day (8:00 - 3:15). PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do this!!!! Instructions are below:
- Here is an article on how to use parental controls on an iPhone. Here is an easy-to-follow video that will walk you through the setup step by step.
- All Android devices use the "Google Family Link" to enact parental controls. Here is an article about setting up Google Family link. Here is a video walking you through using Google Family Link.
Mr. Grant's Cell Phone Policy: This year, Mr. Grant has the policy that cell phones will be checked into a lock box at the beginning of class. Mr. Grant will lock the box and hang the key behind his desk. If there is an emergency and Mr. Grant is not in the room, students can retrieve the key to gain access to their phones. Otherwise, no phone access during class time is allowed. The last five minutes of class, students will pick up their phones and Mr. Grant will ensure that every device is accounted for. Here are the reasons for this policy
- Over the last 13 years of teaching, I have tried many policies from: regulate your own use, to "if I see it out, I ask you to put it away", etc. None of those policies have been effective in curbing cell phone usage. Additionally, if a cell phone is on a student's person, many teachers fight the battle of students using excuses such as "My parent is texting me and I have to respond" without having any way to quickly verify the truth of the statement.
- Some parents have expressed concerns that they want to be able to contact their student in case of a Code Red emergency. This is very sensible so under this year's policy, students will be in the same room as their phones, but will not be able to access their phones unless of an extreme emergency. If parents need to get a message to their student during class, please call North Valleys High School at (775) 677 - 5499 and the office will transfer your phone call to my classroom OR will have a message delivered to the classroom.
- Public schools do have the autonomy to decide to "ban" all students phones from their campuses. The precident was established in Price v. New York in 2008. Traditionally, each state decides whether to enact a ban, or pass responsibility down to the specific school districts. Nevada has no statewide policy, and Washoe County has the policy that each school site sets their own rules on personal device usage. North Valleys leaves the policy up to each individual teacher. Policies can be no cell phones in the classroom, cell phones in the classroom but students do not access them, or anything up to free access to cell phones.
- There are MANY studies which prove that students who do not have access to their phone/devices during educational time show improvement in test scores and content retention. Additionally, bullying decreases and cheating declines. Here are several peer reviewed studies that support those claims:
Thank you for supporting me in this endeavor to help your student succeed in school. Please feel free to contact me at BGrant@WashoeSchools.net with any peer reviewed studies that support or deny the claims above, or if you believe I should add any additional relevant information.