This working paper examines the effect of banning smartphones in class and found that banning the devices increases the performance of the lowestachieving students. It seems that they are more distracted than the other students and so eliminating the device could help reducing the inequality:
The results suggest that low-achieving students are more likely to be distracted by the presence of mobile phones, while high achievers can focus in the classroom regardless of whether phones are present.
Ok, sounds fair, but… before making this study anti-technology or eliminating cellphones: the advice is much more subtle:
The existing literature on the impact of technology in the classroom implies that the unstructured presence of technology has ambiguous impacts on student achievement. We add to this by illustrating that a highly multipurpose technology, such as mobile phones, can have a negative impact on productivity through distraction. Schools that restrict access to mobile phones…
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