Think smartphones are an unavoidable part of daily school life if you’re a teen? Think again. Well, if you live in France, at least.
Under new legislation, French students are banned from using either smartphone or tablets during the school day. The new laws were part of President Emmanuel Macron’s election promises.
The news isn’t likely to be too much of a surprise to students. According to the newspaper Agence France-Presse, an unofficial ban on smartphones during class hours has been in force since 2010. Given the average age people are given their first phone and the age of school leavers, that means that few are likely to remember what it was like to have a smartphone in school.
Macron’s election pledge promised to ban smartphone use in schools up to around the age of 15.
Smartphone use in schools
France isn’t the only place concerned about the use of smartphone usage in schools.Recently, the government of southeastern Australian state, New South Wales, announced plans to carry out a comprehensive review of smartphone use in schools. The U.K.’s culture secretary has also suggested that mobile devices ought to be banned in schools. In all of these cases, many of the fears center on the potential of smartphone addiction among young people.
In the United States, there have been some attempts to regulate the use of phones in schools, although these seem to have mainly preceded the arrival of smartphones. For example, in 2005, the New York City Department of Education imposed a citywide ban on mobile phones in public schools. This ban was inconsistently enforced, and quickly lifted by Mayor Bill de Blasio after just a few months.
Despite this, Apple has introduced some measures which allow users (and, in this case, their parents) to regulate smartphone use. Screen Time is set to debut with the arrival of iOS 12 later this year. Facebook today also announced a similar set of tools for its social network.
Would you like to see tighter controls on smartphone use in schools? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.