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Smart Devices

Stories about use cases, advances, policies and issues related to smart devices such as smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and smart whiteboards.

School districts and state and local governments across the U.S. have been approving policies restricting student cellphone use in class. Many teachers are desperate for the help, and some have already seen improvements.
After KIPP NYC College Prep restricted smartphone use in class, AP test scores increased, grades bounced back to pre-pandemic averages, and attendance at sporting events and other activities jumped by 50 percent.
Officials in Middletown, N.J., have proposed a policy banning smartphone use in classrooms, bathrooms, locker rooms and most spaces outside of high school free periods, as a statewide ban is discussed.
A new bill offers grant funding to purchase smartphone bags for schools that prohibit the use of cellphones during the school day. A statewide prohibition on student cellphone use during school is also in the works.
Amid the national conversation about whether cellphones belong in schools, a recent high school graduate from North Carolina defends them as tools for lonely students to find and connect with like-minded peers.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul inched toward a statewide ban on smartphones in schools, launching a “listening tour” that would span the state, aiming to hear from teachers and parents.
An 18-year-old youth advocate from the nonprofit Work2BeWell argues that instead of banning cellphones, schools should teach students proper cellphone etiquette alongside digital literacy.
A teen who recently graduated from Sycamore High School in Cincinnati says students need to be able to contact their parents in case of schedule changes or emergencies, but they should take regular breaks from screens.
Westmont Hilltop School District in Pennsylvania worked with the school website company Edlio to build a mobile app for sharing news, information about events, field trip permission slips and other communications.
Nine groups including teachers and parents across Maine have joined forces to convince schools to ban cellphone use during the day, and parents to adopt new norms around how often their kids can access devices.