Cell Phones in Schools: Supports for Schools and Districts

Schools and districts have an opportunity to explore innovative approaches to mitigate cell phone use within educational settings, fostering a more focused and engaging learning environment.  

Ways Schools and Districts Can Limit Cell Phone Use 

Schools and districts can consider creative strategies for limiting the use of cell phones in schools. Schools and districts can support their school through the ideas listed below:

  • Teach students about the impact of cell phone use on learning, relationships, and overall physical and mental health. 
  • Facilitate opportunities for two-way dialogue about the impact of use on physical and mental health and wellness with the entire school community.
  • Devise a school schedule that promotes positive, face-to-face interaction without cell phones.
  • Help students make the transition and consider changes they will need to adjust. For example, if students are used to texting in the hall instead of interacting, review the basics of greeting each other and making eye contact.
  • Implement practical strategies that set an expectation for cell phone placement during the day. Some of these include:
    • A numbered pocket chart for cell phone storage;
    • Individual zip-pouch cell phone holders;
    • Locked cell phone pouches;
    • Storing cell phones in lockers.
  • Create policies for adults that have similarities to student policies.
  • Be clear about how the policy applies in all spaces (classrooms, hallways, lunchroom, and outdoor spaces).
  • Be consistent and intentional about setting limits and boundaries. Be sure to communicate expectations, remind students regularly, and provide consistent, yet fair, consequences that align with the school or district’s policy. 

Supporting Technology and Engagement Without Cell Phones 

While research shows an increasing number of children are becoming dependent on technology, it does have a place in educational settings. Consider the following ways in which technology can be supported and used for engagement in the classroom:

  • Utilize interactive whiteboards or smartboards for dynamic presentations, collaborative activities, and engaging visual aids.
  • Employ classroom response systems (like digital surveys) to encourage student participation, gather instant feedback, and promote interactive learning.
  • Promote educational apps and other software on school-provided devices to facilitate interactive lessons, personalized learning, and skill development.
  • Connect to platforms that encourage group projects, discussions, and peer-to-peer interaction.
  • Provide coding and robotic kits to promote hands-on learning, problem-solving skills, and creativity in a technology-rich environment.
  • Implement educational games or platforms to make learning more interactive, competitive, and enjoyable for students.  

Resources for Schools and Districts 

Other Toolkit Resources 

Last Modified: 5/29/2024 4:04:52 PM