June 28, 2018


The Conversation asked five experts: should mobile phones be banned in schools? Their responses are quite surprising.

Sophie Heizer, The Conversation

NSW Minister for Education Rob Stokes has ordered a review into phone use in schools. He said the review would look at the risks and rewards of social media. The review will ultimately decide whether to ban mobile phones in NSW schools.

Finnish education expert Pasi Sahlberg also recently said he believed mobile phone-related distraction is a main reason for Australia sliding down in PISA rankings.

Parents and teachers have similar concerns about cyberbullying and safety, as well as technology distracting from schoolwork. But do the benefits of having phones in classrooms (such as contact with parents, access to mental health text lines, and learning opportunities) outweigh the risks?

The Conversation asked five experts if schools should ban mobile phones in classrooms.

Four out of five experts said no


Here are their detailed responses:

If you have a “yes or no” education question you’d like posed to Five Experts, email your suggestion to: sophie.heizer@theconversation.edu.au


The ConversationDisclosures: Matthew Kearney receives funding from the ARC and Erasmus+.

Sophie Heizer, Commissioning Editor, Education, The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

  • Phones should be banned from the classroom in my humble opinion.


  • Phones should be banned during school. I never had a phone when I was at school & it helped build healthy relationships with people. Having access to phones & social media during school is just adding to the fire with bullying & anti socialism. School is for learning not socialising


  • Phones should be banned from the classrooms, and perhaps even the playgrounds, but they should not be banned completely. They would be a good tool for student safety when travelling home on buses.


  • Not necessary. Hard for school teachers as phones can be used as cameras and ways of intimidation. Leave them out of schools so the kids can concentrate on learning.


  • Ban the phones in school hours!


  • My thoughts are that kids don’t need them at school but need them if they are travelling independently to and from school
    Ideally they should be handing them in to their teachers at the beginning of the day and picking them up before heading home. They do not need the distraction


  • Kids mat need a phone if they catch a bus home and there’s issues. However keep it in the bag or pick it up from the office at the end of the day.


  • Wow, I find the response of professionals amazing and concerning. Noone is saying to ban technology in school – that’s what iPads and laptops are for. Smartphones are not used for learning on. A look over mine and my son’s social media accounts shows you there is no learning going on via the smart phone. Students are distracted, playing music, videoing each other, taking selfies, all while the teacher is trying to teach an entire class of distracted students. Hell it would be to be a teacher today trying to engage students. Smart phones are not the way to do this. And I have no doubt the dumbing down of kids and lowering of grades is due to smart phones in the classroom. Our school banned them this year but… they are back in class. The teachers just don’t know it. And I’ve seen the very quick downslide from my son’s Year 7 learning to Year 12 learning with the increased use and presence of phones in the classroom. I’m glad he’ll be out of there this year but feel so very sorry for those students that come after him.


  • I think no need to have them at school


  • I thInk when they go to high school they should have them otherwise no


  • No need to have them in schools.


  • phones should not be on in class or used. my granddaughter was being bullied at high school (teacher would do nothing about it, kept on putting her off when she tried to make an appointment to see her) so she would ring her mother who would calm her down and tell her what to do, Mother did contact school about it response from school was negative … in the end the mother managed to sort it out without the schools help. after weeks of tears from daughter.
    seems the school did not want to admit there was a problem within the school .

    School children do need their phones at school . but not in class.


  • I don’t believe a complete ban will have any positive impact, but I agree that putting them on the teacher’s desk in a basket or something on their way into class and collecting them on their way out can help with the distraction of them. Anyone caught with a mobile phone outside the designated allowances of between classes, recess, lunch etc. should have their phone confiscated for the remainder of the day for collection from their year advisor or someone like that. I understand that these technologies are a part of life, but there is a time and a place for everything, which kids don’t seem to be being taught these days. Teachers do a hard and great job and have the right to teach without unnecessary distractions, plus the whole reason the kids are there is to learn. Plus, it’s just plain respectful! We have to turn our phones off at work for a lot of jobs, they need to get used to rules like this, it’s just not so common sense these days!


  • Well these responses shocked the socks of me.


  • Out of the experts I agree with the psychologist and the current stats on anxiety and depression. The stats are so alarming!

    • There is so much to focus on in class and at school that there is no need for phones. Similarly there is not no need at work unless your phone is used for work!


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