In the U.S., the line for smartphones and watches varies greatly, based on state and individual school districts.So the question remains, can your children wear a smartwatch in school?
At Xplora, we want to empower schools, parents, and children in the quest for learning.
The Balancing Act: Smart Devices in Education
The degree to which U.S. schools choose to regulate smartphone and watch usage varies greatly, ranging from device rules to classroom bans (Gao et al., 2014). Studies have found that ownership of smartphones correlates negatively with reading habits and ability among elementary school students (Kim & Park, 2014). To many teachers, the entry of smartphones into the classroom must be revised.
However, U.S. schools implement smart device strategies, like BYOD (Bring your Own Device), where students can bring digital devices for learning. Many schools allow students to bring smart devices into the classroom with the agreement that students keep their devices off and in their backpack to minimize distractions. During state standardized testing it is also advised in most states that the smart devices are left at home. Of course it is best to check with you school on their official policy on smart devices.
Challenges Faced by Students with no smartwatch
It is easy to argue that connectivity is here to stay, and there are multiple reasons for your kid to be within reach if something happens, even at school.
Being able to contact an emergency contact is one. Imagine your kid is traveling with their class on an excursion: during an unfocused moment, they lose track of their class. Having mom or dad within arms reach could prove invaluable. GPS tracking lets you see where they are - potentially providing instructions to an anxious teacher.
For many parents, the guard is lowered when their child arrives at school or returns home. Having the ability to track them on their way to and forth is a real anxiety-saver. Like many, the Safe-Zone feature might be more interesting if you are a busy bee. You can set pre-defined zones that notify you once your child has exited or entered the zone. In a scenario where the school sees no other choice than banning these devices and making students leave them at home, this would not be possible.
Did you know Xplora Smartwatches offer School Mode?
- School Mode is activated through the Xplora Parent App. Parents have the capabilities to set designated hours of the day where their child cannot access the smartwatch. The child can still send out an SOS call if they are in trouble. School Mode is easy to activate.
By activating 'School Mode', you're not just limiting the smartwatch's functions; you're actively supporting your child's education and helping maintain concentration in the classroom.
Conclusion: Navigating the digital landscape in education
Integrating smartwatches into the educational landscape represents a nuanced approach to managing digital devices in schools. By offering features like 'school mode,' these devices can provide the safety and connectivity benefits that parents and educators value without compromising the integrity of the learning environment. As schools continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by digital technologies, smartwatches may play a pivotal role in striking the delicate balance between connectivity and concentration in the classroom.
Beth H. Jones, A. Chin and Peter H. Aiken. "Risky business: Students and smartphones." TechTrends, 58 (2014): 73-83. https://doi.org/10.1007/S11528-014-0806-X.
Chad C. Tossell, P. Kortum, Clayton W. Shepard, Ahmad Rahmati and Lin Zhong. "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him learn: Smartphone use in higher education." Br. J. Educ. Technol., 46 (2015): 713-724. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12176.
Chrisafis, Angelique. "French School Students to Be Banned from Using Mobile Phones." The Guardian, June 7th 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/07/french-school-students-to-be-banned-from-using-mobile-phones.
Anshari, M. Almunawar, M. Shahrill, Danang Kuncoro Wicaksono and M. Huda. "Smartphones usage in the classrooms: Learning aid or interference?." Education and Information Technologies, 22 (2017): 3063-3079. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-017-9572-7.
Taeyong Kim and SunJu Park. "A Study on Effects of Elementary School Students’ Use of Smart Phone upon Reading and Self-regulated Reading." , 18 (2014): 433-442. https://doi.org/10.14352/JKAIE.2014.18.3.433.