No Smartphones Until Grade 8?!

Now that our Building Online and Collaborative Environments course is in full swing, I reflect on so many of the initial posts in which we discuss the pros and cons of social media, personal devices, etc.

It made me recall a conversation I had with a colleague who teaches family and consumer sciences. She was going to have her students compare/contrast the ideas of allowing children use these devices and determine what age they should be allowed. She told me about an article in which it is advised to put their children on a “digital diet.”

In fact, there are not parents taking a pledge: they will not allow their children to use a smartphone until 8th grade.  Eighth grade?! I find it very difficult to believe! Some of our students start to use electronic devices in preschool and kindergarten…how is someone going to prevent their child from using a phone until grade 8??

Well, with a quick google search, I did find a few things; first of all, the pledge is for parents to limit their children from using their phones as anything other than a phone (to make calls and text). Second of all, it isn’t to say that other electronic devices are NOT to be used (that I can see anyway), so if they are using iPads in school, for example, it isn’t like they will be prohibited. And third of all, it seems like the pledge is more about teaching responsibility for knowing what is right and what is wrong when getting on apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and the like.

Check out the blog post and let me know what you think!


6 Responses to “No Smartphones Until Grade 8?!”

  1. Sean Coultas Says:

    I appreciate the article. I like the use of technology throughout education such as IPads, calculators, Smart boards, but at no time would I have to agree that there would be a need for a smart phone. My perception of a smart phone is that is it is only a distraction. It gives the ability to take pictures and cheat on tests or look up answers during tests

  2. Nick Dettorre Says:

    I just heard on NPR radio last weekend that a company is coming out with a “Dumb Phone” that can only call, text, and order a uber. This is something that many adults might want, lol, but I can see this being used for a parent to teach their children about how to take care of a phone and not have to worry about all the endless apps a student can download.

  3. Anthony Fiore Says:

    My wife and I just went through this experience with out ten year old daughter this year. This year, she started middle school. Along with that came taking the bus, a few after school activities, walking to after school dance class, and coming home and being alone for thirty minutes until I come home from school. My wife wanted the ability to call and text her to know where she was and if there was any problems. My wife bought a new smartphone and gave our daughter her old one. Almost immediately, everything changed and we started running into problems with texting. She was too young to have open access to text anyone. Many of her texts, to mostly her new texting friends, were ambiguous, nonsensical, attention seeking, or a waste of time and resources. We tried talking to her and explaining but it just did not seem to help and the texts just keep right on going with no change. Finally, we had the service provider remove texting altogether from the phone so she could call but not text. She now rarely uses the phone except for its intended purpose to call us when necessary. I agree with the article, a full featured smartphone is not necessary before 8th grade and can be the cause of a lot of headaches before kids are ready for them.

  4. robertsreads Says:

    I love this idea, to be honest. My sister waited till high school to get her oldest a phone, and he survived. I am happy to get a *dumb phone* for my daughter when she needs it that can only call pre-programmed numbers and has no video or text capabilities. That way we can have lengthy discussions about privacy, values, and digital citizenship before she has access to everything, all the time.
    ~Kelly Roberts

  5. msoconnor208 Says:

    Honestly, I love the idea of children not having a smart phone until they are older. Using technology in school will still help them be comfortable using 21st century technologies, but when they come home they should focus on developing themselves as people – playing a sport, learning a hobby, or just having discussions with their families. I feel like that will make them much more well rounded adults, and also better students in the long run. They won’t be so used to instant gratification and they will be more willing to search for answers and discover information on their own.

  6. Heather Walton Says:

    I agree with the idea that children should not have a smart phone until at least 8th grade. There are other wearable devices that children can use to call home. My nieces have these devices. I also think that children younger than 8th grade should not have unmonitored access to apps, games and the internet in general.

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