Pushback of the Week: January 29, 2024: Buxton School: “What happens when a school bans smartphones?”

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Buxton, a private boarding school in Massachusetts, embarked on a social experiment to remove smartphones from both the students and faculty while on campus. Instead, the school offered them “Light Phone” devices that can make calls and handle texts but otherwise have more limited functionality.

What did they discover? The result was fewer interruptions during class, more engagement and socialization, meaningful interactions around campus, and of course less time spent on screens. The experiment also prompted a renewed enthusiasm for learning among the students and led to improved academic performance. With reduced screen time, students were able to dedicate more time and attention to their studies.

Buxton’s implementation of this relatively simple strategy proved to be highly effective in addressing the issue of the overuse of smartphones and its negative impact on education. The initiative’s success has garnered praise for the school’s willingness to not only recognize the problem but also take proactive steps toward a solution. And by sharing their findings, Buxton is providing valuable insights to other educational institutions struggling with similar challenges.

The positive outcomes resulting from the school’s banning of smartphones serves as a testament to the importance of creating a conducive learning environment that minimizes distractions and promotes meaningful interactions among students. We commend Buxton for implementing this relatively simple strategy and for sharing their impressive results.


Buxton School: Smartphone Policy

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Light Phone

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