One study suggests students who use cellphones for things other than school work during class are distracted to the point that they receive lower grades. Cleburne ISD’s cellphone policy varies by campus. 

Scrolling through Facebook or watching videos on Youtube might be good things to do to pass the time, but definitely not when you’re in school. 

One study suggests students who use cell phones or other devices for things other than school work during class are distracted to the point that they receive lower grades than their other classmates. Cleburne ISD officials said usage of cell phones by students while in class varies by campus. 

The study was published in the academic journal, “Educational Psychology,” where two researchers divided 118 upper-level college students into two groups — each enrolled in the same course, taught the same material by the same instructor and in the same classroom at roughly the same time of day, according to ABC News. One group was allowed to have laptops and cell phones open for non-classroom purposes, and the other group was not. 

“The group using devices scored about a half a letter grade lower on exams — the difference between passing or failing for some students,” according to the article. “Of note, students who didn’t use a device but were in the same classroom with those who did also scored lower. This was likely due to distraction from surrounding devices.”

Dr. Arnold Glass, the lead researcher for the study and a professor of psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told ABC News that he’s long been intrigued by the notion of technology-enhanced classrooms.

“I was always interested in using technology in the classroom before it existed, but when it became apparent that it was affecting the classroom, it raised the question [of] what effect this was having,” he said.

CISD Community Relations Director Lisa Magers said cell phones are not permitted at TEAM School, which is a campus administrative decision.

In the student handbooks for Cleburne High School, both middle schools and all the elementary campuses, the district permits students to possess personal “mobile telephones,” but these devices must remain turned off during the instructional day, including during all testing unless they are being used for approved instructional purposes.

“A student must have approval to possess other telecommunications devices such as netbooks, laptops, tablets or other portable computers,” according to the handbook. “The use of mobile telephones or any device capable of capturing images is strictly prohibited in locker rooms or restroom areas while at school or at a school-related or school-sponsored event.

“If a student uses a telecommunications device without authorization during the school day, the device will be confiscated. The student may pick up the confiscated telecommunication device from the principal’s office for a fee of $15.”

Magers said the Disciplinary Alternative Education Program lists cell phone violation/misuse of a wireless communication devices as text messaging tests or sharing school work information with others, taking pictures, sending pictures, “sexting,” cyberbullying and/or displaying pictures or other visual materials with a cell phone.  

CISD Instructional Technology Director Tim Grijalva said student repsonsibility and ownership are paramount when it comes to district-issued devices.

“With that said, all our students are taught digital citizenship and their digital foot print,” Grijalva said. “We do everything we can, as an institution, to have safeguards and security protocols/filters in place so students can’t access items that are not educational — such as social media sites. We currently have YouTube open for our secondary students.”

Their default filter doesn’t allow inappropriate videos to be accessed by students at school or at home, he said.

“Sometimes the filter is too aggressive, so  teachers now have the ability to allow their students to watch videos that are restricted, as long as they fall within the educational guidelines,” he said. “Teachers creating engaging lessons that add value to classroom technology — including Chromebooks — is the most effective way for students to not be distracted by outside influences. Cleburne ISD has professional development for Virtual/Augmented Reality in the classroom, online classes — Canvas Learning Management System, Nearpod — interactive classroom tool and many more digital and non-digital classroom management items available for our teachers.”


Information from 

this report came from 

the Associated Press.

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