The use of mobile devices has shifted and assisting students to develop healthy device habits is important. Mobile devices have gone from a simple form of communication to a platform that enables everything from entertainment to education.
This shift has increased our reliance on mobile devices and made the use of them increasingly complex. Students today are developing in an age where overreliance on mobile devices has become a natural phenomenon. Which brings up the question:
‘How can we help our students to develop healthier relationships with their mobile devices?’
Here are tips on how you can assist your students in developing healthier relationships with their mobile devices:
1. Develop non-digital activities
Students in the digital age are constantly using mobile devices. Classroom activities often focus around the use of mobile devices, but teachers should not forget the importance of human interaction in the classroom. Encouraging discussions between students where mobile devices are prohibited is important for developing the social skills of students, improved social skills will lead to an enhanced learning environment.
Tip time: A fun real-life example is to ask students to use their mobile devices to research and make notes on a certain topic and then putting them in groups to discuss their findings is a good example of encouraging a non-digital activity.
2. Set up tech-free zones
Studies have found that excessive phone use is linked to loneliness and low quality relationships in adults. Students should be encouraged to interact and build relationships with their fellow students. Recess is a time that should not involve students glued to their mobile devices’ screen, they need to learn how to interact with others and build relationships, otherwise they will struggle in doing so more and more as they grow older.
Tip time: Teachers can make recess a tech-free period of the schooling day. When leaving for recess students will hand-in their mobile devices to their teacher and only receive them back after they return from recess. An additional bonus is that the mobile devices will be safe and schools/parents can feel confident that these mobile devices are less likely to be broken or stolen.
3. Talk to your students about their use of mobile devices
It is important for teachers to address students’ use of mobile devices. Teachers can create open safe spaces for students to address struggles they are experiencing online. It is also important to address the problems that come with mobile device usage by students.
Explaining the issues with the ‘perfect body’ and ‘perfect life’ promoted by social media platforms such as Instagram are important in limiting students’ exposure to these unrealistic messages being pushed at them while online. Talking about the impact of online bullying and reliability of the sources of information which they access online are other important topics to address with your students.
These conversations are very important and teachers should engage in them as much as possible as it will help the development of healthier relationships between your students and their mobile devices.
Tip time: Create safe spaces for students to share their experiences, whether one to one, or in small groups, to make this an easier experience. Life advice from a teacher can sometimes be shrugged off by students, but hearing the reality of their peers can bring the possible issues they are facing to light.
4. Address how parents can influence healthy device relationships at home
One of the most important ways parents can encourage healthy habits with mobile devices is by setting the example through their own actions. Children are always watching the actions of their parents and these actions mold the way they live their lives.
Teens tend to pick up on hypocritical behaviour and will use that to justify their actions. If a parent spends all their time looking at their phone they can’t expect their children to not do the same.
It is important for parents to not use their mobile devices at family times. It is also important for parents to explain the reason for using their phone. A child does not necessarily know why you are using your phone because they do not yet have the experience of having a career or work demands.
Tip time: Establish clear expectations of how devices are to be used in the household and adhere to these yourself, as parents. Leading by example is the best way to set the standard for your children and how they are expected to conduct themselves.
Develop A Healthy Relationship with Mobile Devices
We hope these tips will help you with encouraging healthier relationships between your students and their mobile devices. Mobile Guardian’s features can provide assistance in the development of your students’ healthy relationships with their mobile devices.
The profile feature can be implemented by schools to manage students’ usage of their mobile devices. This can be used to ensure certain times of the school day are tech-free. For example; Devices can be locked during recess so students are unable to use them for that period of the school day.
Classroom management features can be used to lock students’ devices during class to ensure the full attention of students and create spaces for interaction between students.
Linked Parental Controls is another feature offered by Mobile Guardian which can take the management of mobile devices from school to students homes. This feature allows parents control of their children’s devices while they are at home.