This year, a new system used to store phones during classes was introduced to the Upper School: phone hangers. This system is supposed ensure that students do not use their phones during the lesson or when they leave the classroom during class time. But what does the ZIS Upper School body think of the them?
A few weeks ago, a survey was sent out to all of the students of this campus about this new addition. Only an hour after all students had received it, 80 of them had already submitted responses, showing how interested the student body was in this topic. In total, 131 responses were collected with a variety of 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders having responded, which is a little more than one fourth of the population of the whole student body.
The majority of the student said that they dislike the system, but what drove them to this feeling?
The top reason given by students as to why the loathe the phone hangers, was the fact that many students forget their phones after class. A lot of students also listed consequences of forgetting their phones after they leave the classroom, such as having to think about their phones constantly because they are afraid that they might forget it in class. Additionally, not knowing exactly where they left their phones if they do not have it with them is a problem. Some have even had to collect it at reception after searching for it for a long time in all of their classes.
Students also expressed the idea of not being able to train self control regarding cell phone use and, one of the students said, “I feel it’s your own responsibility if you don’t want to pay attention in class. Also there are several ways to connect your phone to your tablet.” This hints at fact that the phone hangers might not be as effective as they were planned to be. This claim is supported by many other students, as they say that: “Many students keep their phones with them anyway.”
Other popular complaints were that teachers should trust students, the hangers are dirty (“gum can be found occasionally in them”), and that the entire process of putting the phones away and the teacher checking if this has been done wastes class time. An upperclassman said: “I’m tired of being treated like a child when I have to be an adult in like one year. I want to be counted on and given a chance”. A lot of students also say that the phone hangers are a safety hazard to their phones, as some phone hangers have fallen down with all of the phones inside of them. This is a huge problem.
Finally, many students can get distracted when a phone makes a sound, flashes or vibrates when someone gets a notification and this is “more distracting because if a phone rings or gets a text message everyone sees or hears it and then everyone is distracted and off topic, instead of just that one person.”
Answering the question that can be seen in the picture above, one student said, “I think I speak for most people in saying we would rather have our phones in our backpacks or lockers. However, this student admits, that ”it is correct that we will probably be distracted by them.”
Others suggested to just put them in their bags and that there should be a consequence for those students who misuse their phone during class or if the phone is not turned off and makes a noise during the lesson.
Another student came up with the idea of having a sign on the door to remind you of your phone in the phone hanger, like some teachers have already adapted, so that the problem of forgetting your phone is eradicated.
Other popular proposals included just having the teacher keep it and hand them back out at the end of class, simply number the phone hangers to make it easier for people to find their phone, and that clocks should be added to all classrooms, as many students do not know what time it is without their phone.
Regardless, some students agree with the system and wouldn’t change it. This point of view is supported by many students, even those who dislike it, as many admitted that there are quite a few benefits to the system, despite all of the disadvantages.
These benefits include fewer distractions, as well as it being easier for teachers to take attendance. One student said that: “[the school] could give us some better insight as to what drove them to make this decision.”
What do you think of the phone hangers?
Written by: Vivienne Jeker (’21)