I've been following the debate around cell phone use closely. I saw a report on CBC news about a Social Studies teacher in Toronto who had ordered the pouches for his class; the report included a brief interview with students who reported being able "to focus more", so I sought the approval of my principal and we decided to run an experiment out of my class.
I ordered 30 Yondr pouches (seen in the image) for experimentation and spent time planning how I might use them, when I might use them, and I began drafting a letter Informing parents.
Donna Fry wrote recently about cell phones here: http://blog.donnamillerfry.com/5posts5days/cell-phones/ She seems to question the banning of cell phones, and asked some very valuable questions.
On the first day using the Yondr pouches, I asked my students how they felt about working at the vocabulary stations without their phones and these are their unedited responses:
|Before the activity, your phone was locked in a Yondr pouch. How did this affect the way you tried to work through the tasks at the station?|
|Did not effect me at all because I don't use my phone in English.|
|It made it easier to concentrate|
|We needed to search some songs up and it was hard to do when the phone or the Chromebook was locked away so it was hard.|
|It didn't change it much, I still did the work the same as I usually would have.|
|Doesn't matter I didn't have a phone|
|It made it a bit harder because i couldn't look anything up|
|It didn't really affect me to much, only when I may of forgot what a word was but I couldn't search it up.|
|I found that it was much less of a distraction for me and my group members because i was able to focus more on my work and the entire group was able to focus and contribute to each station.We also were able to complete most of the stations in a reasonable time because we did not have a phone to distract us from our work, i think everyone can talk to a neighbor or group member and still complete work without access to our devices.|
|I found it made it easier to not have my phone because I wasn't constantly checking it, or wanting to go on it. I wasn't even worried about it and I got more work done, probably because I was more Focused on my work than my phone.|
|I'm fine without my phone. It didn't effect me very much.|
|Couldn't look up the words which made it tricky|