With the start of a new school year, teachers and other educators are again grappling with how to deal with student phone use in class. Depending on the school and the district, there may be rules about phone use. But even if there are no official policies, it's still essential to plan how you will deal with phone use in your classroom.
You can take a few approaches to manage student phone use in class. And before we talk about strategies teachers can use to manage phone use in class, let's discuss the two primary approaches most teachers take:
For example, you might allow students to use their phones during breaks or before and after class, but not during class time. Or you might allow them to use their phones for research but not for social media or games.
This will also depend on the age of your students. For younger students, you might want to have a rule that phone use is only allowed with permission from a teacher.
This is often the most challenging option to enforce, but it may sometimes be necessary. For example, is phone use disrupting your class or preventing students from paying attention? Then it might be best to ban phone use altogether.
Of course, this isn't always possible or realistic. In some cases, students will need to be able to use their phones for things like emergencies or medical conditions. In these cases, you can make an exception and allow the student to keep their phone with them. But make sure they understand that they are not to use it unless there is a dire emergency.
Whichever approach you take, it's essential to be consistent and fair in your policy. Make sure your students know what the rules are and be clear about the consequences of breaking the rules. You'll easily manage phone use in your classroom with a clear and consistent approach.
Now, with all that in mind, here are a few tips to help you manage phone use in your classroom.
Make it clear that you expect phones to be turned off during class unless you have given explicit permission for them to be used.
During class time, students should limit phone use to academic purposes only. If you allow phone use during class, ensure students are using them in a way that is not disruptive to the learning environment.
For example, if you allow students to use their phones for research, ensure they are not using them to text or play games. If phone use is disruptive, you may need to consider banning phone use altogether.
If you have a rule that phone use is only allowed during breaks, enforce it equally for all students. If you catch a student using their phone during class time, give them the same consequences as other students who have broken the rule.
This means no phone calls, texting, or social media. If students are using their phones for research or other academic purposes, ensure they are doing so quietly and not disturbing other students.
If you allow phone use during breaks, use this time to teach students about responsible phone use. For example, you can talk about how to use phones in a way that is respectful of others and doesn't interfere with their learning. These tech breaks can also be a great time to introduce phone etiquette, such as not using phones during class or in other places where it would be considered rude.
You can also talk about the importance of limiting phone use to avoid addiction or other negative consequences. Teaching students about responsible phone use can help them develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Your physical presence in the classroom can be a deterrent to phone use. If you notice students using their phones when they shouldn't be, move around the room, making them less likely to continue using them.
This will also help you monitor student phone use and ensure it's not interfering with learning.
As a teacher, you should set the tone for appropriate phone use in your classroom. This means being mindful of your phone use and ensuring that you are not using your phone in a way that disrupts the learning environment.
It also means respecting your students' phone use and not demanding that they put their phones away when you are using yours. Again, leading by example can help create a respectful and positive learning environment.
With these tips, you should be able to manage phone use in your classroom with ease. Remember to be clear, consistent, and fair in your approach, and you'll be sure to set your students up for success.
Although we can't be right there in the classroom with you, trufyx is here to help if you're dealing with a broken phone!
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