SPOKANE, Wash. — Technology can be a serious distraction for many people, which is why teachers at a Spokane middle school have found a way to ensure cellphones are not interfering with learning.
Each classroom at Sacajawea Middle School is equipped with cellphone holders that hang on the wall. At the beginning of class, students know to leave their phones there and pick them up at the end of the day.
Sacajawea is the only middle school in Spokane where every single classroom uses the cellphone holders.
Other schools across Washington state have adopted similar policies. A policy at Bainbridge High School in western Washington requires students to surrender their cellphones and place them in classroom caddies during instruction.
Michael Lee, a teacher at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, also requires students to lock up their phones in cubbies during class. Students have an assigned locker number where they can lock up their phones at the beginning of class and can charge it at the same time.
Cindy Schwartzenberger, a history teacher at Sacajawea, said it wasn't hard to convince all the teachers to use them, especially after receiving them as a gift from school administrators.
"We've gained a lot of construction and a lot of time, minutes back into the educational hour I think," Schwartzenberger said. "This is the first time in years that I'm actually taking away notes, good old-fashioned paper written notes, so that's how we know it's working."
"I think it is a good idea because then you were paying attention to the classroom and what the teacher is saying and you are not tempted to go on your phone," said 8th grader Claire Crawford.
Schwartzenberger said she continues to occasionally reminds students to drop off their phones at the beginning of class. The holders are labeled so if students forget phones, she knows who to return them to.