Student hiding use of smartphone in class

TMP-Marian desires its students to use technology tools effectively. It’s easy to be distracted. The classroom should not be a place where it’s even harder.

Excerpt from a study on distractibility and smartphone proximity in the classroom:

Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity, ADRIAN F. WARD, KRISTEN DUKE, AYELET GNEEZY, AND MAARTEN W. BOS

  • Our smartphones enable—and encourage—constant connection to information, entertainment, and each other. They put the world at our fingertips, and rarely leave our sides. Although these devices have immense potential to improve welfare, their persistent presence may come at a cognitive cost. In this research, we test the “brain drain” hypothesis that the mere presence of one’s own smartphone may occupy limited-capacity cognitive resources, thereby leaving fewer resources available for other tasks and undercutting cognitive performance. Results from two experiments indicate that even when people are successful at maintaining sustained attention—as when avoiding the temptation to check their phones—the mere presence of these devices reduces available cognitive capacity. Moreover, these cognitive costs are highest for those highest in smartphone dependence.

*Video summary of the study - 2 minutes long
*The study in its entirety

Limiting smartphones and backpacks to student lockers will:

  • Increase student cognitive capacity in the classroom

  • Improve in-person social interaction

  • Create greater appreciation of time students have with their smartphone

  • Less anxiety (in time), especially for those more “dependent” on having their smartphones nearby

  • No bookbags means less tripping hazards and more space in the classrooms - easier to move chairs and tables for collaboration

Teachers and parents want to embrace technology in ways that improve students’ abilities to communicate, research, organize, and grow in one’s relationship with God. For example, the school is researching the Hallow app for students and families.
Parents and school working together is the most beneficial model for a child’s moral, social, emotional, and academic development. Please support these policies when discussing them with your children and others.