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Cellphones

Learn more about cellphones in K-12 schools—whether they are being banned, used as instructional tools, or something in between
Anthony Bruno, a student at Washington Junior High School, uses the unlocking mechanism as he leaves classes for the day to open the bag that his cell phone was sealed in during the school day on Oct. 27, 2022, in Washington, Pa. Citing mental health, behavior and engagement as the impetus, many educators are updating cellphone policies, with a number turning to magnetically sealing pouches.
Anthony Bruno, a student at Washington Junior High School, uses the unlocking mechanism as he leaves classes for the day to open the bag that his cell phone was sealed in during the school day on Oct. 27, 2022, in Washington, Pa. In California, the Los Angeles Unified School District has banned students from using cellphones during the school day.
Keith Srakocic/AP
Student Well-Being School Cellphone Bans Gain Steam as Los Angeles Unified Signs On
The Los Angeles Unified School District board of education has voted to ban students from using smartphones in its schools.
Arianna Prothero, June 19, 2024
4 min read
A student takes notes on their cell phone during class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
Schools across the country are struggling with whether to allow students to use cellphones in class.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy What Happened When This District Did an About-Face on Cellphones
Cellphones and other technologies have altered parents’ expectations about how on-demand kids and teachers should be.
Arianna Prothero, June 12, 2024
3 min read
Mitchell Rutherford, who taught biology at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz., left the profession due, in part, to students' cell phone usage. Here, pictured at Finger Rock Trailhead in Tucson on June 8, 2024.
Mitchell Rutherford, who taught biology at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz., left the profession due, in part, to students' cell phone usage. Here, pictured at Finger Rock Trailhead in Tucson on June 8, 2024.
Cassidy Araiza for Education Week
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words Cellphones Turned My Teaching Career From 'Awesome' to Exhausting
A former high school teacher shares how his students' increasing reliance on cellphones drove him out of the classroom.
Elizabeth Heubeck, June 10, 2024
5 min read
Hands holding smartphone. The screen is lighting everything up.
Education Week + iStock + E+/Getty Images
Student Well-Being To Ban or Not to Ban? Educators, Parents, and Students Weigh In on Cellphones
School community members share opinions on cellphones in schools, describing how the problem should be handled—if at all.
5 min read
A cell phone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
A cellphone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy States Are Cracking Down on Cellphones in Schools. What That Looks Like
State officials are increasingly taking action to curb student cellphone use.
Arianna Prothero, May 23, 2024
5 min read
A drowning hand reaching out of a cellphone for help
iStock/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy When Schools Want to Ban Cellphones—But Parents Stand in the Way
Educating parents on the real threats cellphones pose to their children can help allay their concerns about safety.
Elizabeth Heubeck, May 21, 2024
5 min read
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Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy Video Cellphone Policies in Schools, Explained
Educators have multiple factors to consider when deciding how to handle cellphones in schools. Education Week breaks them down.
2:04
An illustration of a wallpaper of mobile phones, some off, some turned over with stickers on the back covers and some missing with just an outline where they once were.
iStock/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy One School Leader Banned Cellphones, the Other Embraced Them. What Worked?
Two principals describe their dramatically different policies on cellphones and how they are working.
Arianna Prothero, May 14, 2024
7 min read
A student holds a cell phone during class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
A student holds a cellphone during class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Student Well-Being Cellphone Headaches in Middle Schools: Why Policies Aren't Enough
Middle schoolers' developmental stage makes them uniquely vulnerable to the negative aspects of cellphones. Policies alone won't help.
Elizabeth Heubeck, May 14, 2024
6 min read
Elementary students standing in line against a brick wall using cellphones and not interacting.
iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being Teachers Want Parents to Step Up to Curb Cellphone Misuse. Are They Ready?
A program from the National PTA aims to partner with schools to give parents resources on teaching their children healthy tech habits.
Arianna Prothero, May 10, 2024
5 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Classroom Technology Opinion Let's Not Oversimplify Students' Cellphone Use
Vilifying the technology, including social media, is easier than digging into the societal issues that contribute to mental health issues.
Larry Ferlazzo, May 2, 2024
5 min read
A cell phone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
A cellphone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024. The policies that districts and schools use to manage the use of cellphones during the school day vary widely.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy 6 Ways Schools Are Managing Students’ Cellphone Use
Students' cellphone use has been a major source of headaches for teachers and principals.
Lauraine Langreo, April 25, 2024
5 min read
Tight cropped photo of someone typing on their cellphone with a notepad and pencil on the desk in front of them.
iStock/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy How Teachers' Unions Are Involved in the Fight Against Cellphones in Class
Could cellphone bans be the next big issue at the bargaining table?
Madeline Will, April 24, 2024
7 min read
Vector illustration group of students feeling bored at lecture, demotivated young people.
iStock/Getty
Teaching Cellphones and Beyond: Teachers' Ideas on What's Hindering Learning
Teachers on social media give their two cents regarding the major factors contributing to students' apathy toward learning.
Tanyon A. Duprey, April 18, 2024
4 min read