You are here

Fewer Cell Phone Bans in US Schools

Cell phones are still absent from most U.S. schools, but recent data is now showing they are steadily gaining acceptance. This can be seen as administrators bow to parents’ wishes to keep tabs on their kids, and teachers finding ways to work them into lessons. The percentage of K-12 public schools that prohibited cell phone use was about 66 percent in 2015-16, down from more than 90 percent in 2009-10, according to data from a survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Among high schools, the shift over the same period was especially striking — dropping from 80 percent with bans to 35 percent.

Do Phones Make Kids More Safe or Less Safe During a School Emergency?

Usually the debate about smartphones at school is about whether they are a distraction or a tool for learning, but the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida  has sparked some debate about whether students are made more -- or less -- safe by carrying cellphones at school. Some say students with the devices can alert others that they are safe when getting to and from school or during an emergency, but others argue that phones can make students less safe during a crisis by distracting them from following directions by teachers or first responders, giving away their location to an assailant, or jamming up communications interfering with those coming to help them.

Wonder Where All that Cellular Data Goes?

Curious about how all that data consumed by sharing and streaming photos, audio and video on your cell phone adds up? You might be interested in getting a quick estimate from a data calculator like the ones on the AT&T or Verizon Wireless sites. Your cellular provider may have it’s own sample measures. 

Interested in some simple ideas for reducing your data consumption? Take a look at Measuring and Managing your Cellular Data Use on The New York Times site.

Your Cell Number – Are You Sharing It Too Freely?

Here’s a bad piece of news. Our cell phone numbers becoming a lot like Social Security numbers: they are the gateway to our identities, providing an entrance to personal data – your email address, physical address, even physical whereabouts—and all the personal information that is kept about you by nearly all corporations, financial institutions, and social media networks. Yet when we are asked for our cell numbers for whatever reason, we often give them out without even a second thought.  What can you do? Take a look at these tips and use common sense. If you are asked for your phone number, it never hurts to ask why.

Banning Smartphones for Those Under 13?

A group in Colorado called Parents Against Underage Smartphones is looking into putting a ballot initiative up that would require retailers to submit reports to the state government verifying that they had inquired about the intended user for each smartphone sold, and fine those that repeatedly sell phones to be used by young children and preteens. Many critics understand the reasoning behind the proposed law, but think it oversteps the government's role into private family life. What’s your opinion?

Do Your Apps Have an Appetite for Data?

As kids and their cell phones are about to head into summer vacation mode, you may want to look at ways to help the whole family stop the burn when it comes to cell phone data. One of the best ways to do that is to figure out how much data your favorite apps use and adjust usage accordingly. It is the best way to help you avoid costly overages or painfully slow speeds, depending on your carrier. Not sure where to start? Take a look at this article from USA Today that breaks down the data usage of several popular app data hogs including Netflix, YouTube and Google Play, and gives tips on how to keep your data in check.

Elementary School Cellphone Use

A proposed rule in a Maryland school district that would allow elementary students to use cellphones during specific times of the day has sparked a debate about whether or not students should be allowed to even bring their phones to school. The average age in which a child receives their first cell phone is ten years old, and Ann Flynn, director of education technology at the National School Boards Association, says this is a hot topic of discussion in schools. The National Education Association has written about the pros and cons of cellphones in schools and since it is parents in so many parts of the country who have pushed for allowing cellphone use in schools, you may want to acquaint yourself with both sides of the question.

Texting and Driving: A Deadly Combo

Texting is here to stay so how do you cope with teens, texting and driving?

iPhone Users Have the Power to Make Their Phones Less Hackable

The most recent development in the story of searching the San Bernardino terrorist’s cell phone is that the FBI has

New ACT and SAT Technology Related Security Measures

Besides now requiring identification photos when students register for the ACT and SAT, Educational Testing Services (the company that administers the SAT) is supplying a wand detector to proctors

Handling Cellphones in the Classroom

Take a look at this fascinating article on how some teache

Science, Cellphone Use, and Your Family Relationships

You probably get “Pphubbed” all the time. The questions is, what can you do about it?

How to Limit Ad Tracking on Your Cellphone

You may not be aware of it, but one way major cellphone carriers make money is by selling your search and browsing history to advertisers.

New York City Schools to End Ban on Cellphones

New York City schools are following the lead of other large, urban districts, such as Los Angeles and Chicago, and ending the ban on cellphones in school. The district's current policy, considered one of the strictest in the country, forbids students from having cellphones at school even if they are turned off...