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Study: Smart Phone Bans in Schools Make Kids Smarter

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By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 09:08 AM

Smart phones may not make students smarter when it comes to learning, suggests a study that finds students at schools banning the technology in the classroom score higher.

The study, released this month by the London School of Economics, looked at 130,000 students at 91 schools in Great Britain that have established various smart phone policies for their students, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The research found that underachieving students benefited the most from banned smart phone policies, with their scores improving 14 percent at schools with such policies. Overall, the study said, students at schools banning smart phones improved their test scores by an average 6.4 percent.

"However, these findings do not discount the possibility that mobile phones could be a useful learning tool if their use is properly structured," the study said in its conclusion. "Our findings suggest that the presence of mobile phones in schools should not be ignored."

"The results suggest that low-achieving students are more likely to be distracted by the presence of mobile phones, while high achievers can focus in the classroom regardless of whether phones are present," the study said.

While smart phones are often used as sources of entertainment and even information, researchers Richard Murphy and Louis-Philippe Beland told CNN Money that the study showed that smart phone robbed students of time that they could use studying.

"We found the impact of banning phones for these students equivalent to an additional hour a week in school, or to increasing the school year by five days," said Murphy and Louis-Philippe Beland noted.

Murphy and Beland said that a move in March by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio to end a decade long ban on cell phones in schools is probably not a good idea in light of the study.

"Schools could significantly reduce the education achievement gap by prohibiting mobile phone use in schools, and so by allowing phones in schools, New York may unintentionally increase the inequalities of outcomes," the researchers said.

Veteran teacher Ken Halla has said on the National Education Association website, though, that there are ways to use smart phones into the learning process and he has developed specific tips on how they can be a classroom benefit.


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Smartphones may not make students smarter when it comes to learning, suggests a study that finds students at schools banning the technology in the classroom score higher.
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2015-08-19
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 09:08 AM
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