Schools ban mobile phone use in bid to improve learning

Warrnambool schools are a step ahead with many banning mobile phones from the classroom in a bid to improve learning.

Not on: Federal Education Minister Senator Simon Birmingham has called for mobiles to be locked away during the school day.

Not on: Federal Education Minister Senator Simon Birmingham has called for mobiles to be locked away during the school day.

It comes after federal Education Minister Senator Simon Birmingham called for mobiles to be locked away during the school day. 

The Standard contacted the four Warrnambool secondary schools about their policies and views on the issue.  While students are able to access the internet on approved school devices for learning purposes, mobile phones are banned in class at Emmanuel, Warrnambool and King’s colleges. 

Brauer College principal Jane Boyle declined to comment on the topic.

Emmanuel College principal Peter Morgan said the college trialed allowing mobile phones in class but found student’s temptation to check messages was distracting and proved to be a  “huge issue”. “In the end we believe that their learning was going to be best served by not having them in the classroom,” Mr Morgan said. 

He said students could use their phones at recess and lunchtime but it was monitored to ensure students engaged with each other and did not become socially isolated.

Warrnambool College principal David Clift referred The Standard to the college’s Information and Communication Technology Acceptable Use Agreement which states that devices can be used only for learning purposes and only when directed by the teacher.

It also states that photos and sound or video must only be taken when it is part of an educational activity and has been approved by a teacher. 

Mr Clift would not go into any further detail except to say that mobile phones were “very much a part of the way in which most people experience the world” and “part of how teenagers experience the world."

At King’s College principal Allister Rouse said students could only use their mobile phones for learning under teacher direction but they were to be kept in their lockers at all other times. 

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