The following is an extract taken from the Newsela website to be used in a training session on using EdTech in the ELT classroom.
Put your cellphone away. Stop texting. Stop using the camera as a mirror. Stop looking at Instagram. They’re the familiar commands of teachers and educators in the age of the smartphone.
Most teenagers today have grown up never knowing a world without smartphones, with the Pew Research Center reporting that 95 percent of all teens currently have access to or own a smartphone, and 45 percent are online almost constantly. That leaves educators the daunting challenge of teaching those whose attentions are — at least partially — attached to the devices in their pockets.
Most schools have put in place policies banning or regulating phone usage during school hours, and teachers now routinely find themselves confiscating devices or writing up students for being on their phones.
Educators are now exploring more drastic measures. This school year, more than 1,000 schools nationwide will be using Yondr, a pouch system that allows students to lock away their phones while they’re in class.
Each morning when students arrive at school, they magnetically lock their devices into their own personal green and gray pouches. They maintain possession of their pouches and devices, but they cannot unlock them until the end of the day, when they tap them on an unlocking magnet station located throughout the school.
The concept is not new. Musicians and performers have been using Yondr to prevent people from filming their gigs since the San Francisco-based company launched in 2014. But in recent years, more and more schools have begun using the pouches to keep kids off their phones during school hours, with dozens in the Bay Area alone. “Demand has tripled this year,” the Yondr spokeswoman Kelly Taylor said.