Hello!

By

23 Comments

With many schools banning mobile phones, parents are now considering smartwatches as an alternative as a way to communicate with their kids.

The Victorian  and NSW governments have already implemented a blanket ban on smartphones in schools from this year and other states are expected to follow.

However, not all parents are happy about the new restriction and are turning to other ways to communicate with their kids during school hours.

A recent study found that the majority of parents are happy for their children to access smart devices as long as there is parental control over the technology and it is safe.

Parents Want Contact

More than half of the parents surveyed (52 per cent) say it is important to be able to contact their child while they are at school;
16 per cent try to message their child almost daily while they are at school;
and more than half (58 per cent) would use a phone or text feature to contact their child directly at least once a day if they could.

 The top three reasons parents contact their child are to:

confirm they are safe,
tell them about a change of plans,
or to get an update on how their day is going.

If phones are going to be banned, parents are looking at smartwatches as a way to communicate with their kids.

Why Watches?

Almost three in four (72 per cent) parents believe children should be allowed to wear smartwatches in school, according to the survey of 1,000 parents of primary-school age children.

Conducted on behalf of wearables company SPACETALK, the survey gauges parents’ (of 5 to 12-year-old children) responses to school technology bans by education departments across the country.

Mark Fortunatow, Chief Executive Officer of SPACETALK’s parent company MGM Wireless, said that the report revealed legitimate concerns about a parent’s ability to get in touch with their younger children while they are away from home.

“The feedback we get from educators and caregivers is that children’s safety is of paramount concern, but issues such as online bullying can be difficult to spot and even trickier to manage in the age of connected devices,” Mr Fortunatow said.

Cyberbullying an invisible threat in schools

Parents’ biggest worries regarding access to smart devices include the inability to control issues such as online bullying and access to the child’s private data. The report found that the top three concerns parents have when it comes to using a smart device are: online bullying and non-desirable people accessing their child; physical bullying; and sharing of inappropriate texts and pictures.

Parents and caregivers ranked Facebook as the worst social media enabler of childhood bullying (74 per cent), followed by Snapchat (55 per cent), Instagram (50 per cent) and TikTok (30 per cent).

The advantages of smartwatches like SPACETALK is that it doesn’t need a separate smartphone to operate and doesn’t give children access to social media and the internet, which the data shows are among parents’ greatest concerns. It notifies a parent instantly if there’s anything wrong but doesn’t open the child to other, more unsavoury interactions.

The device has a ‘School Mode’ that allows parents to remotely disable any or all smart features during school hours. Parents control the device via the AllMyTribe guardian app to set up safe zones and contact lists and receive a variety of alert notifications.

The survey of 1,027 Australian parents and caregivers of children in primary school was conducted by Lightspeed Research for MGM Wireless.

Do you support the banning of mobile phones in schools? Would you buy a smartwatch for your child? Tell us in the comments below.

This article shared and powered by

  • I am definitely in favour of the ban. There is very little reason parents have to contact their child while they are in school – a place of learning. If something catastrophic comes up, then the schools principal is the one to phone to break it to your child, no one needs to be in contact 24/7, that just breeds anxiety.

    Reply

  • Banning mobile phones in school has been attempted since my kids were at school. Yes, I do agree with banning them. Drop them off at the front office first thing and collect when school is finished. If parents need to contact their kids, ring the front office and leave a message. School is for learning and socialising, mobiles reduce the level of both

    Reply

  • I think a ban on phones is essential in schools. If parents need to get in touch with their children, call the front office. If they need to be contacting their child so frequently maybe their child needs some additional support

    Reply

  • I know that our school takes the mobile in at the start of the day and then give back to the child end of the day. I think this is a great compromise. The smart watches can be set so they can receive messages am but not send them until school tim3s have finished. There are also ones that remake photos which would be handy right now so my son can show the teacher his bully. He doesn’t know everyone in the school yet so it would be handy having that feature right now.

    Reply

  • Mobile phones and smartwatches do not need to be used during school hours. I wish this was extended to workplaces too!

    Reply

  • I support the ban and my daughter has a watch in preference to a phone and I still don’t allow that at school

    Reply

  • I do support the ban on mobiles at school. They aren’t necessary! They could get lost, stolen or damaged. My kids and I survived their school years with no mobiles. Wth a smart watch, at least they are a little harder to lose as they’re attached to their wrists

    Reply

  • I agree on phones being banned in school, do primary school kids really need a mobile phone, this also poses the risk of it being stolen as most school bags are kept outside the classroom of a day.
    Parents are definitely finding a way around it, I wonder if smartwatches will be banned soon.
    I am so glad the smartphones were around when I was at school.

    Reply

  • Unless there is a legitimate reason I agree that mobile phones should be banned from school. If the parents need to get in touch with their children they should call the school’s office and pass on the message. The banning of mobile phones at school should also include teachers mobiles.

    Reply

  • Loopholes. Gotta love loopholes! I’d get my kids one of the watches that has the GPS tracking but aside from that if they are at school I don’t need to call them any more than they need to call me! We ALL survived our childhoods phone free so no idea why the following generations can’t do the same

    Reply

  • ABSOLUTELY!! Having had a child complete primary and secondary schooling I saw first-hand the damage that phones did to the school environment – from distraction in class, to bullying, to lack of interest in learning and the list goes on. Parents are setting themselves up for further pain as they realise their children are not learning in the way they should. I am so sorry for teachers who have had to deal with this. Parents need to get a grip. There is NOTHING that is so urgent that you need to contact your child directly during student time. And you’re not helping them or teaching them to wait. Parents are a big part of the problem.

    Reply

  • Some exceptions could be done for people like Ellen’s daughter or the mother of the boy with Aspergers. Beside that, I think it’s better not to have phones at school.

    Reply

  • I like the ban of the phone in schools but understand people worry about safety. If you need to tell you child a change call the school like our parents had to do. If they are out of your care after or before school, then take their phone and hand it in to the office and collect after school is done. Most of us have a restriction on our mobile phone use at work so I’m sure our kids will be able to do it too

    Reply

  • I consider a smart watch for my 9yr old, she has a Reactive Attachment Disorder and has several times run away last year and gone missing. I would like a smart watch with a gps tracker build in

    Reply

  • I don’t know why parents would have to contact kids at school
    I think the ban is good

    Reply

Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like

Loading…

Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating
Join