College bans smartphones

Inspired by a conference talk, Mahurangi College principal David Macleod has banned the use of smart-phones during class time for health reasons.

Previously, the school had a ban on phone use at all times, but made a compromise in 2014 when it introduced ‘bring your own device’.

However, since then, Mr Macleod and other staff have become concerned about how attached students are to their phones and the difficulty to spot their use under class desks.

“Listening to Dr Shimi K. Kang at a teachers conference talk about the impact of an addiction to social media content on phones was a big eye-opener and prompted my decision,” Mr Macleod says.

The new rules mean that phones must be off and put away during class time, but can be used during interval. Seven were confiscated in the first week after the policy was introduced.

“All teachers and parents supported the idea, and even the students seem to understand and accept the decision.”

Over 90 per cent of students bring a device to school. Use of tablets and laptops during class is still permitted.

“Devices are a great resource for education and, unlike phones, the bigger ones can’t be concealed under desks easily to look at non-educational material.”