Use of Mobile Phones at School

In 2018, the NSW government called for a review into the use of mobile digital devices, specifically smart phones, in New South Wales schools.

A number of recommendations have been made as a result that affect primary schools and secondary schools differently. This review presents many arguments against and in support of mobile phones at school. While the report focuses on the non-educational use of mobile phones, the educational use was also considered.

At Gymea Technology High School, we have promoted the Connect2learn program where students are able to use their choice of device with their learning. While mobile phones were not explicitly advocated, they were not banned and we do see many positive educational uses with these devices.

We are in an era where technologies have grown and developed at an amazing pace and while every household is different, every adult and child are different, the benefits and harms are very real.
At Gymea Technology High School, mobile phones will not be banned. Educating on digital citizenship, that is, what is safe and respectful behaviours online, has been part of our technology and wellbeing curriculum for many years. In 2019, we will extend this to explicitly address the potential harms as identified in the review.

Our students leave our school as young adults and it is our belief that we have a responsibility to educate our students to live and work in this era of rapidly changing technology. We aim to empower our students to not only use technology successfully with their learning, but to better consider their own wellbeing in using mobile phones and other devices both safely and respectfully, in and outside of school.

This term, we will be making presentations and working with students in wellbeing lessons on the non-educational use of mobile devices.

The first lessons will focus on mobile phones in relation to:

  • Distractions to learning
  • Cyber bullying
  • Excessive use of devices
  • Positive behaviour for learning expectations in using mobile devices

We will communicate the experiences and the outcomes of these lessons.

Click the link to read the review report: Review into the non-educational use of mobile devices in schools in New South Wales schools.

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