Dealing with Misuse of Phones in the Class, Consider Yonder

January 23, 2018

As most are aware, I am a big believer in teaching social media safety and digital literacy to students starting right at the elementary school level. I am also a big believer in allowing students to use their technology in the classroom in a reasonable and managed way, and only with the permission of the teacher. The fact remains, however, “some” students will abuse this privilege, and yes it’s a privilege and not a right. Using mobile devices in the classroom without permiasion distracts from learning or even disrupting the class as a whole. In these cases there should be consequences to actions.

Most consequences start with a verbal warning, but often these warnings are either ignored or only adhered to short term. The next step would be to take the device from the student, but many schools are becoming very hesitant to do this, given that they are now responsible for ensuring that the device is not damaged or even stolen. Some schools have banned cellphone use altogether, but now these schools are punishing those students who actually will follow the rules and aren’t learning how to use this technology in a reasonable way in class. So what is a teacher to do with a student who continually ignores school policy, or a teacher’s direction specific to the misuse of their mobile phones?

Well here’s a suggestion, consider implementing Yondr.

Originally designed to control the misuse of cellphones at concerts and live performances, some schools are now using it to control the use of cellphones in class. Some schools have even implemented a 100% use for all students, something I don’t necessarily agree with in all case. I think Yondr should be used in those circumstances where students do not follow a teacher’s warning or is one of those students who is a habitual abuser in the classroom. A couple of benefits to implementing this type of consequence to action protocol:

  • Teachers don’t have to take possession of the phone, the student still possesses it.
  • If the parent is attempting to contact the student during class hours (by the way if it is that much of an emergency parents should be phoning the office and not their child), it can still be accessed with the permission of the teacher.
  • It will prevent these problematic students from going into the bathrooms to access their phones and social media during school hours.
  • It helps to promote the appropriate use of cellphones in the school with reasonable consequences to actions for those students who willfully choose to ignore school policy or a teachers warning.
  • This program does not punish the entire school population, but only those who are abusing the privilege of having a personal phone at school

Again I love technology and encourage its use in a reasonable and managed way as a tool for learning, but unfortunately, there will be those students who decide to ignore school policy, or a teachers warning, which often results in disruptions in a class or elsewhere in the school. In these cases, rather than moving to a “zero tolerance” approach that negatively impacts all students, why not concentrate on those students who choose to ignore school policy and a teachers warning. Consequences of actions, both positive and negative, is a developmental skill that should be implemented all levels of development.

Digital Food For Thought


The White Hatter

Here’s another article I wrote specific to school policy and the use of digital in the classroom:

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