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Mobile phones could have negative effect on education

11/10/2016 Joanna

The use of mobile phones throughout the night is affecting young people's education, new research has shown.

The study, conducted by the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) and online safety organisation Digital Awareness UK (DAUK), highlighted that children as young as nine years old are checking their mobile devices more than ten times during the night. As they get older, this gets even worse, with more than a quarter of teenagers spending over an hour on their mobile phones after going to bed.

Unfortunately, this could be having a negative effect on their ability to learn. In fact, of the 2,745 11 to 18-year-olds in state and independent schools in England that took part in the study, 68 per cent said they thought their school work was affected by using their mobile phone throughout the night.

Most commonly, these students are using their phones to check apps such as Snapchat, YouTube and WhatsApp. Ten per cent event admitted that they feel stressed if they can't check these before bed, because of a fear of missing out.

According to Mike Buchanan, chair of HMC and head of Ashford School, mobile phones have both positive and negative impacts on young people.

"Clearly there are some times when children are not concentrating because they are tired, and that has an obvious impact on their ability to keep up with what’s going on - there is a desire to stay within the group," he stated.

However, Mr Buchanan also went on to note the benefits of mobile devices for young people. "As teachers we are seeing the effects of device use every day. Mirroring adults, pupils are constantly using their phones, quite often for productive purposes," he stated.

Furthermore, Charlotte Robinson, co-founder of DAUK, explained that students often state they are exhausted due to notifications coming through on their mobile phones throughout the night. 

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