Study Says Schools that Ban Mobile Phones See Better Test Results

In the ongoing debate over technology in classrooms, a new study from London suggests banning mobile phones in schools leads to better test results.

Research from the London School of Economics finds after schools prohibit mobile phones on campus, test scores for 16-year-old students jump by more than 6%, which is the equivalent of five more days of classroom instruction.

From The Guardian:

Some schools are starting to allow limited use of the devices. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has lifted a 10-year ban on phones on school premises, with the city’s chancellor of schools stating that it would reduce inequality.

This view is misguided, according to Beland and Murphy, who found that the ban produced improvements in test scores among students, with the lowest-achieving students gaining twice as much as average students. The ban had a greater positive impact on students with special education needs and those eligible for free school meals while having no discernible effect on high achievers.

“We found that not only did student achievement improve, but also that low-achieving and low-income students gained the most. We found the impact of banning phones for these students was equivalent to an additional hour a week in school, or to increasing the school year by five days.