‘Phone Homes’ increase attention in classrooms


Alanis Stowell, 10, puts her phone in the phone home Photo by BJR


Phones have been a major distraction in the classroom for students and are sometimes used to cheat on homework and tests. Some teachers struggled to get students’ attention in the classroom, so instead of having to constantly tell the students to put their phone away, teachers have little Phone Home.

“I decided to put a Phone Home in my classroom because phones tend to be a distraction,” Robin Jaco, English, said. “You know when a student has it on them they are more likely to be texting or playing on it or even cheating. I’ve had students use their phones to cheat so I’ve just said that’s enough.”

Phone Home are little pouches that are hung up on a wall that students have to put their phones in before class. Some teachers put the phone home on the wall by the door, while some put it in the cabinet and lock the door till the end of the class.

“I’ve been doing this for the last few years of teaching,” Jaso said. “Students are more active in class, their attention is better they are paying attention to me. I tell them that I don’t have my phone on me either, my phone is behind me and on silent and it’s charged but I’m not on it. I’m not messing with my phone while I’m teaching. I give them the same courtesy as I would want them to give me, I want your full attention, it’s like a mutual thing, a respect thing in my opinion.”

Phone Homes are not used by all teachers at South. Some teachers have the Phone Homes, while others give warnings or let students have phones in class.

“I think Phone Homes are a good idea,” Browning Peeples,10, said. “The only reason people are opposed to it is because they are addicted to their phones.”

While some students care about having their phones with them at all times, some students agree with the Phone Homes because with the phone homes in classrooms increases their attention span in class.

“I feel like it is something that will keep you more in task because they can be a distraction,” Pierceton Forrest, 10, said. “We should be able to have your phones in class in case we need to contact somebody we could easily do it. I definitely don’t like it, I would like to have it on me. I feel like I can focus more when I have my music.

Alanis Stowell, 10, puts her phone in the phone home Photo by BJR

Student Name, 11, places her phone in the Phone Home in Robyn Jaso’s classroom. Jaso has been using a Phone Home for the last several years of teaching. Photo by K. Dunham