Smartphones are making our jobs harder

Here's what your school can do about it

 

Just about everyone has a smartphone these days...and if they don’t, they are using their parents' phones to create content and share on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. They are learning life skills, exploring space, and catching a good laugh.


That doesn’t sound bad, right?


Unfortunately, at school, smartphones are becoming a major issue. Misinformation, distractions, and cyberbullying are taking the lead over learning. Teachers find it hard to keep focus in the classroom and administrators are finding it difficult to provide a productive and safe learning environment.


Even small-group activities are almost impossible to complete without someone snapping about what they do between classes.


So how do educators find a healthy balance of acceptable phone usage in their class? We're finding that it may be effective to stop fighting smartphone use in school and start taking advantage of it.


Set rules and expectations. Make sure that no phone calls or video chats will be allowed in the classroom, no exceptions. Snapchat, TikTok, and other social media apps should only be allowed during technology breaks (if at all) and there will be absolutely no content creation in the classroom.


Use the phones as a tool. There are many ways cell phones can be used as an educational tool. Consider implementing rewards for PBIS activities, online quizzes, bell ringer forms, and even choice boards that allow students to present their learning using images, videos, and editing.


Reward with technology breaks. If time permits, reward good behavior with technology breaks during schoolwide events and at the end of class.


Technology isn’t going away, and neither will smartphones. How do you use them to your advantage? Share your solutions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.