Concerns about the growing use of smartphones in schools have been raised in a recent UNESCO report. For the purpose of reducing disruption in the classroom, enhancing learning, and assisting in the protection of children from cyberbullying, UNESCO has advocated a global ban on smartphone use in schools.
UNESCO Ban Mobile Phones in india: Latest News
UNESCO has decided not only for India not to use phones in school, but has issued a report on this subject at the international level and discussed how important or not it is to use phones in schools.
Arguments in Favor of Smartphone Use in Schools
The post-COVID digital era has seen a rise in smartphone use as a result of the edutech sector’s enormous growth. In its NEP, or New Education Policy, the government has also made a point of highlighting the use of smartphones.
Implementing a general ban: Research has shown that it is challenging for school administrators to enforce a general ban on phones because students find covert ways to bring them.
Information and digital age: Smartphones give students instant access to a wealth of knowledge and learning tools that can improve their academic performance. The latest educational tools, like AI and speech recognition, can be used to expand the curriculum and engage students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Interactive: Mobile devices can be used in classes to make learning more interactive and engaging. The use of interactive exams, multimedia presentations, and educational apps can keep students interested while also catering to their different learning preferences.
Disputes Against Smartphone Use in Schools
One of the biggest concerns is the possibility that smartphones can be very distracting. Students might engage in non-educational activities like texting, social media, or gaming during class, which would keep them from learning.
Academic Performance: Smartphone distractions may hinder students’ ability to focus on their studies and may cause them to engage in non-academic activities or frequently check their phones during class, which increases the likelihood that they will miss important information.
Social Interaction: Using smartphones in class may make it more difficult for students to interact with others on a personal level. If students are absorbed in their devices, there may be less chance for peer collaboration, communication, and social skill development.
Health issues: Anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorders have all been linked to excessive smartphone use as far as health is concerned. The student’s academic performance and mental health may be impacted by this.
The UNESCO report is not understood
The UNESCO report is currently interpreted in a variety of ways, including how it is being incorporated into political discourse, and it appears that phones are the primary cause of student distraction in these interpretations.
The larger context of the report’s findings, however, is not taken into account by these interpretations. The report examines smartphones as a component of a larger ICT (information and communication technology) suite, which also includes personal laptops and tablets used in the classroom. These devices may also cause distraction and decrease student engagement.
India’s position on this matter and the UNESCO recommendation for an international ban:
- UNESCO recommended that lawmakers consider the concerns of students and draft data protection laws with their safety and health in mind.
- Mobile devices should not be used in schools during the day, according to UNESCO.
- Because students with access to the most expensive devices may have an advantage, those with limited resources may feel excluded or stigmatized, UNESCO has suggested that allowing smartphones in schools widens the digital divide among students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Community consultation and evidence-based decisions about phone policies would be beneficial. These consultations should include everyone who has an interest in students’ learning, including the students themselves, 90% of whom have a cellphone by their first year of high school.
And we should believe in our students. In my study of teenage girls and social media, students reported varying degrees of self-regulation and high self-awareness of the impact of social media on their wellbeing. They were able to set their own boundaries in order to mitigate the negative effects of new technologies.
Perhaps an educational approach, rather than a ban, is required in this case. We could provide young people with the resources they need to develop the critical thinking strategies and self-awareness required to engage with these new technologies in a reflective manner.
All parties involved in the education system, including students, parents, teachers, and school administrators, should be consulted when making decisions about the use of smartphones in classrooms in the future.