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July 24, 2019, 08:01:16 am

Author Topic: Mobile phones to be banned in all state primary and secondary schools from 2020  (Read 781 times)  Share 

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Aaron

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https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/mobile-phones-to-be-banned-in-state-primary-and-secondary-schools-20190625-p5217a.html

Read and discuss.

As a teacher myself, I like the idea as I see the distractions all too often (particularly from the lower year levels), but I can see the other point of view. I think it'll be difficult to police and will not be consistently applied across all state schools. For a state-wide policy to work well, everybody has to be on board and do the same thing. Sure to stir up some controversy, that's for sure.
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Calebark

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Unsure on how I feel about it overall. However, I am confident this bit here:
Quote
store them in lockers during school hours
Is worse for difficult schools. I understand not all schools are like this, but there was an absurd amount of theft at the two of my schools that had lockers. Losing pens, pencils, and a calculator is bad enough -- but there's no way I'd keep anything valuable in there.
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Erutepa

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https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/mobile-phones-to-be-banned-in-state-primary-and-secondary-schools-20190625-p5217a.html

Read and discuss.

As a teacher myself, I like the idea as I see the distractions all too often (particularly from the lower year levels), but I can see the other point of view. I think it'll be difficult to police and will not be consistently applied across all state schools. For a state-wide policy to work well, everybody has to be on board and do the same thing. Sure to stir up some controversy, that's for sure.
I'm sure that most schools already have a mobile phone policy much like the one that is proposed here. We ourselves are supposed to lock a phones in our lockers and not take them into the classroom (which totally works well hen half of the senior school isn't given lockers...). So this government action doesn't seem awfully revolutionary.
But as you said, it will be difficult to police, especially since it comes down to the teachers, and many teachers (at least at our school) ignore the policy and allow phone use in class. I simply don't think this statewide policy will change much for schools. I'd think that the schools that are already really strict in enforcement will remain so, while the slack schools like mine will remain slack.

However I do agree with the fact that phones are overall a distraction, but shouldn't necessarily be so outright banned. A ban on phones in primary schools should be enforced - I think a certain maturity earns the right to the access to a mobile phone that primary school kids just don't have. But I have to agree with Beth's opinion in the article when she points out that banning phones may deprive students of the ability to learn a certain self control around mobile phone use. I think mobile phones should be allowed to in class as a valuable learning tool, but that is not to say that teachers should not have the right to police their use on their own terms to make sure students aren't getting distracted. This is pretty much the approach that i've been exposed to and I do agree with it.

Unsure on how I feel about it overall. However, I am confident this bit here:Is worse for difficult schools. I understand not all schools are like this, but there was an absurd amount of theft at the two of my schools that had lockers. Losing pens, pencils, and a calculator is bad enough -- but there's no way I'd keep anything valuable in there.
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« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 09:41:30 pm by Erutepa »
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vox nihili

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At first glance it just seems a little bit unrealistic and defeatist. There's also some evidence that mobiles can be used beneficially in classrooms, too, which wouldn't be possible here.
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Aaron

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I don't think a state-wide ban is appropriate  - it will achieve the exact same thing we currently have (inconsistently applied policy), just provides an excuse for teachers/principals to cover their ass and say 'well the government says so' rather than 'I said so'.

I have seen first hand the benefits to mobile phone use in the classroom but unfortunately I have to concede the negatives outweigh the positives (from my personal experience inside the classroom at three different schools now with varying socioeconomic contexts).

There is provision for usage in the classroom according to this:
Quote
and students will be able use phones for classroom activities if they receive permission from their teacher.
^^^ This will then create the
"well I was able to use it in x class so why can't I use it in z class? That's unfair!"

You'll never hear the end of it.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 09:58:29 pm by Aaron »
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I think that something should be done to reduce distractions from phones in classes, but banning them is just silly.

There's so many legitimate reasons to use phones in class - taking photos, googling things, playing kahoots. Although that can mostly be done on a laptop, social media can be used on laptops too. I had some teachers who didn't allow phone use in class, and others whose entire class I sat through mucking around on my phone. But in the ones where I couldn't use my phone, I just opened up my laptop and pretended to take notes and went back to scrolling through facebook.

Quote
Parents Victoria executive officer Gail McHardy said parents and students used phones to communicate with one and another during recess and lunch - a practice that will be banned under the new regime. Parents are advised to call their childrenís school if an emergency occurs.
This part especially is ridiculous. There were so many times in high school when I texted my mum during the day, my little brother texts with my mum most days of the week about whether she'll be at his swimming class or whether she's picking him up that day. My boss frequently texted me during the day and asked me to work that night, or the next day.

I can understand communication going through the school when it's kids - but this is suggesting that even teenagers should be barred from communicating for the entire day, which is just ridiculous.

Will be interesting to see what my high school does with this - they somewhat encourage the use of phones in class haha.
My teachers had a variety of different tactics. Some of them just didn't care (I spent a lot of english classes on my phone), some had an optional basket to put your phones in when you walked into the room, some would yell at you if they saw your phone. But really the only thing that did was decide whether I mucked around on my phone or my laptop. The actual deciding factor for whether I was going to muck around was whether the class was interesting.

This policy is effectively just ignoring the problem and pretending it doesn't exist. We can't stop smartphones from existing, and even if they aren't used in schools, they will be used everywhere else, so schools should be helping students learn when and how it's appropriate to use them and not just banning them. Cos schools teaching abstinence has always worked out so well

But I have to agree with Beth's opinion
I agree with Beth too ;)
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This part especially is ridiculous. There were so many times in high school when I texted my mum during the day, my little brother texts with my mum most days of the week about whether she'll be at his swimming class or whether she's picking him up that day. My boss frequently texted me during the day and asked me to work that night, or the next day.

I can understand communication going through the school when it's kids - but this is suggesting that even teenagers should be barred from communicating for the entire day, which is just ridiculous.

At the risk of showing both my age and the social conservatism of my parents, I had neither a phone nor a laptop when I was at school.  We seemed to survive OK, though it did require more planning earlier and maybe some things would have worked better with more immediate communication.  I do notice that improving technology means I leave plans later, but also that that can be more stressful and require more constant attention than trying to set plans up front and stick to them.

There's no moral to my tale, and I don't know the answer to questions about regulating phone usage. I just wanted to highlight that technology and expectations have changed very quickly, and it's not clear how well society and culture can keep up.  I think it's way too soon for us to have actual answers about the best ways to use this technology - but I also think it's going to keep changing anyway. :)
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Honestly have no idea how this is going to play out. Will definitely be interesting to monitor over time.
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Seems a bit TOO idealistic IMO, it'll be very difficult to implement. Mobile phones aren't even the only distractions students have in class. Should we ban all laptops too? Tablets? Apple watches?

If students don't want to pay attention in class, they'll always be able to find new ways to keep themselves entertained, no matter what measures the school (or the government) introduces.

I can see that it could potentially be a good idea for younger students, like for primary school or even years 7-9, but older students should be mature enough to take full responsibility of their own education and if they make the decision to waste it by being distracted by their devices, then so be it - as long as they're not obstructing other students who actually want to do well.
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If the government wants to make a difference, they need to reevaluate school funding.
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lm21074

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I am on the fence.

It is part of my (public) school's policy that phones are banned during school hours - it is pretty much identical to the one outlined in the article. This policy generally works well as it is strict. Teachers are constantly monitoring us (they have eyes like a hawk and don't stop looking at us until we put our phone in our lockers that must have a sturdy padlock or put in our bags and carried with us if we don't have a locker), Of course you get a few people who use it behind their laptop screen or in the bathrooms, or use a VPN or their personal hotspot to access blocked sites but I'm sure the proportion of people who do this would be higher if phones were not allowed to be used.

I guess to abide to the rules, all I can to do contact people without my phone is to email them (which is a bit of a hassle) or check my phone after leaving school. It is a bit annoying when you aren't contactable at all hours during the day but to look on the bright side, I like how if we are bored, scrolling aimlessly through social media isn't the first point of distraction in the classroom (unless you break the rules of course). The purpose of going to school is to learn after all.

I can see both sides of the issue. To compromise, I think that phones should be allowed in the classroom where it is absolutely necessary to do something that can only be done using the phone (like taking a photo of the whiteboard, but can't a teacher do this for them on request?). Even if phones aren't banned, I think the school should try to regulate student IT use and do their best to ensure that students are using their phones for the required purpose. :)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 06:48:57 pm by lm21074 »

codsta769

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I dont know why this seems so bazaar all of a sudden. When i was in school, we weren't even aloud to use phones during school anyways whether it was recess or lunch. Reading this article gave me no surprise as i thought this was already a common rule amongst all schools.

I used to go on my phone at least once a day when i had no class work to do, or during recess or lunch and i might of gotten caught once or twice a term by a teacher who most of the time would only say "get off your phone". I never had it actually confiscated or given a detention (which the diary states is the official punishment). At one stage i even had an apple watch where i was using that to at least see notifications when they came in :D .

Due to this, i think phones should be banned but to a certain extent such as what my high school did. Not many other students used their phones during class because they were genuinely afraid on getting caught and also because they acknowledged it was a distraction. Having it locked in a locker for the entire day is way too far in my opinion. As long as its in your pocket on vibration is good enough so it doesn't distract others.

One thing that really used to piss me off was the apple alarm music that used to go off randomly. Being a shift worker who wakes up early hours of the morning to go to work (even when i was in high school during weekends), that particular tone gives me shivers because of how it wakes me up every morning to make me get out of bed for work every weekend or school day.
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caitlinherrra

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Omg I was so angry about this today.

Yes I 100% agree that phones can be a distraction! Yes I 100% agree that we should be doing more stop cyber bullying! Though banning the use of phones in class is counterproductive.

For one, by removing phones as a way to combat cyber bullying, itís not going to work. What if students decide to bully another student through their iPads/laptops? Is removing the phone from the classroom really going to do much? Thereís nothing stopping me from downloading social media on my iPad. I could still cyber bully someone if I really wanted to. Even then cyber bullying is something that happens outside of school :/

Maybe instead of telling schools to ban phones, maybe help schools teach students how to use their devices appropriately. The only time Iím really on my phone in class is to take photos of notes. I have found that when Iím too busy taking notes, I donít fully digest what my teacher is actually saying. I find it easier to sit and listen then take photos of what they put on the board.

I have also had to use my phone for work, frankly because the government isnít supporting us. There has been numerous occasions where I have had to use my phone in class, because we donít have enough laptops. Is the government going to actually fund our schools to ensure that no one is left behind? It is ridiculous to expect parents to pay for things such as laptops/iPads. They want to implement this in government schools, but itís not like many parents actually have the luxury of choosing what type of school they send their children to, because they wouldnít have the money to spend on school fees. If the government wants to make sure that Iím not falling behind because Iím using my phone, then they should make sure that I am able access what my teacher is planning on using.

I mean you could argue that if our parents can afford to get us a phone, then they should be able to afford a laptop/iPad. But the thing is you donít know everyoneís circumstances. I got the iPhone 4s as a second hand phone from my mum, because she upgraded to the iPhone 6. I had the iPhone 4 from 7-10 and I ended up her iPhone 6 because the 4 died and my mum was upgrading. We would never be able to actually afford for me to purchase a brand new phone or whatever device the school would expect me to purchase.

We also should be teaching students to resist the temptation of being on their phones all the time. Iím not saying it applies to every job, but my work expects me to carry my phone around with me during my shift. Obviously if Iím on Facebook during my shift, I would get myself into trouble. Though of course I have learnt to not constantly be on my phone when itís with me, because my teachers have always been happy with me to use my phone if itís school related.

I know at my school we have like 63 different languages, but everyone at reception only speaks English. What if there is some big emergency at home, but my parent is unable to pull me out of school, because they donít speak English and are unable to effectively communicate with the ladies in the office? Like yeah I completely understand the meaning behind the rule of, if your parents need to talk to you they need to go through reception, but it is unrealistic to expect people to follow this, when we live in such a multicultural society.

I got so many more reason as to why this is a bad idea, but I feel like itís already too long lol.

TL;DR people in government are a bunch of idiots, who fail to consider the world we live in.
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brothanathan

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Omg I was so angry about this today.

Yes I 100% agree that phones can be a distraction! Yes I 100% agree that we should be doing more stop cyber bullying! Though banning the use of phones in class is counterproductive.


From my knowledge in HHD, some kids are being cyberbullied at 2 am.. It's just mental!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 11:42:17 pm by brothanathan »
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caitlinherrra

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From my knowledge in HHD, some kids are being cyberbullied at 2 am.. It's just mental!

Yeah exactly! How is banning the use of phones in schools going to stop that? If people really want something they will find a way...
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