The following is an extract taken from the Newsela website to be used in a training session on using EdTech in the ELT classroom.
In the age of smartphones, teachers and educators find themselves saying the same things: Put your cellphone away. Stop texting. Stop looking at Instagram.
Most teenagers today have never known a world without smartphones.
The Pew Research Center reported that 95 percent of all teens currently have access to or own a smartphone. And 45 percent of all teens are online almost constantly. That leaves educators the daunting challenge of teaching those whose attentions are at least partially distracted.
Most schools have policies banning or regulating phone usage during school hours. Teachers are now routinely finding themselves confiscating devices or writing up students for using their phones.
Educators are now exploring more drastic measures.
This school year, over 1,000 schools nationwide will be using Yondr, a pouch system that allows students to lock away their phones while in class.
Magnetic Locking Devices
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 containing devices, but cannot unlock them until the end of the school day. They can tap them on unlocking magnet stations available 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, California-based company launched in 2014.
In recent years, more schools have started using the pouches to keep kids off their phones during school hours. Dozens of schools in the Bay Area alone use them.
“Demand has tripled this year,” Yondr spokesperson Kelly Taylor said.