They Banned Smartphones In Schools. Results Include More Socialization, Fewer Distractions, Less Bullying

May 24, 2024

In a bold move, schools in the Netherlands have banned smartphones, leading to remarkable positive changes in student behavior and interactions.

According to a study conducted by Radboud University Nijmegen, the new policy has resulted in increased socialization, reduced distractions, and decreased bullying among students.

students smartphone ban

The ban, which took effect on January 1, is already showing significant benefits, although not without some practical challenges.

The study surveyed around a thousand students at two schools in Nijmegen both before and three months after the smartphone ban.

Over half of the students reported that they now engage in more conversations with friends and classmates.

Additionally, 40% of students mentioned that their breaks have become more enjoyable, highlighting a shift towards more meaningful social interactions during downtime.

Teachers also reported that pupils were more attentive and focused on their work in class.

21% of students said they are now less distracted. While this number might seem lower than expected, research leader Loes Pouwels suggests that students may still find distractions on their laptops. Nevertheless, the reduction in phone-related interruptions is a noteworthy improvement.

The study also revealed a decrease in online bullying behavior. Undesirable behavior such as secretly taking photos and sharing them with other students has also decreased. But on the other hand, students say they experience physical bullying more often and now that people are talking more with each other, there are also more arguments.

Students also report missing the practical benefits of having a smartphone at school, such as easily checking schedule changes and staying accessible to their parents.

These challenges highlight the need for schools to find a balance between minimizing distractions and maintaining practical communication channels.

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