Whether a school places a ban on cell phones or not, Kolb argues that learning how to interact with these devices is valuable.
“[Technology] is just so present that it’s impossible to completely disconnect and function for many people,” Liz Kolb, professor of education technologies and teacher education, tells The Christian Science Monitor. “If it’s true for adults, it’s also true for the students.”
In an article titled “Signing off social: Meet the teens with no time for TikTok,” the magazine reports that in May, the U.S. surgeon general issued a public warning about the risks posed by social media to youth mental health. Since then, a number of state legislators have begun to consider bills that would require parental consent in order for youth to use social media.
At the same time, some schools are putting cell phone bans in place. There is also a growing body of young people who eschew social media, claiming that they recognize its negative impact on their health.
As a teacher, Kolb says she understands the inclination to go straight to cell phone bans. But whether a school bans phones or not, it’s worth taking the time to teach students good habits, she says. “I think best practice is not about trying to ignore the thing that our students have to use to function every day, but rather teaching them how to use it in a way that is going to be positive and healthy.”