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Mobile-Free Learning Enhances Student Wellbeing

Mobile-Free Learning Enhances Student Wellbeing
Image courtesy of Facebook | Mackay North State High School

Away for the day

In a groundbreaking move for Queensland state schools, beginning Term 1, 2024, students must keep their mobile phones ‘away for the day’ during school hours, with notifications on smartwatches disabled.¬†

This initiative, driven by the Queensland Government, aims to create an optimal learning environment by reducing distractions and promoting student wellbeing.

Consistent Statewide Approach

The decision is based on an independent review completed in July 2023, which gathered insights from students, parents, school staff, and experts.

More than 95% of Queensland state schools were already implementing mobile phone restrictions, emphasising the need for a consistent approach.

Impact on Learning and Wellbeing

The review highlighted concerns about distractions caused by personal mobile device use, impacting student learning and engagement.

Schools with existing restrictions reported positive outcomes, including increased face-to-face interactions, improved concentration, enhanced wellbeing, and a decrease in the misuse of phones during school hours.

Proactive Measures for Online Safety

Recognising that children as young as 7 to 8 years old own phones, the review stressed the need for education on safe technology use.

Some high schools are collaborating with primary schools to educate younger students about responsible mobile phone use as they transition to high school.

Partnership for Digital Literacy

Principals and parents envision collaborative efforts to support digital literacy and online safety skills. A clear statewide policy direction on mobile phone use in schools and educational resources is seen as beneficial for building a healthy partnership between families and school communities.

Balancing Wellbeing and Access

Acknowledging the importance of technology in education, the review emphasised the need for a balanced approach.

While promoting student wellbeing through restrictions, it also recognised the necessity of equitable access to technology for diverse learning needs, ensuring all students have reliable internet and device access.

As Queensland takes this bold step towards a mobile-free learning environment, the focus remains on fostering a conducive atmosphere for education, prioritising student wellbeing, and bridging the digital literacy gap for a technologically advanced future.