Smart Phones in Schools: In What Ways Can Coaching Empower Students to Make a Valid Judgement on When and How to Use Their Smart Phone?

Inger Dagrun Langseth, Hanna Sedal


Over the last few decades, smart phones have become indispensable in people's everyday lives.  The trend has also penetrated the classroom, where students use their smart phones from an early age. The research literature following this trend has mainly been focusing on the negative effects of mobile devices, like for example how multitasking and phubbing may impede learning and social skills development and cause addiction. There is little research on how schools, teachers and students can meet these challenges, while making the most of mobile devices for teaching and learning. In this article we discuss coachingas a strategy to empower students to make valid judgement on when and how to use their smart phones, as an alternative to a more top-down restrictive solution, like investing in “smart phone hotels” or banning smart phones entirely from school. The article is based on a qualitative study, where a group of Norwegian secondary school students volunteered for a coaching session after having gathered and analyzed data about their smart phone user patterns in class. The results indicate that coaching may have a positive influence on students' judgement on their use of time and attention in school.


Technology addiction; multitasking; coaching; smart phones; data tracking

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