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Parent concern sparks action
THE NSW Government has responded  to parent concerns on the use of smartphones in schools, by establishing  a review on the issue.

Education  Minister  Rob  Stokes ordered as review into the use of technological devices in  schools to be led by child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg.
“While  smartphones  connect  us  to  the  world  in  ways never  imagined  just  a  decade ago, they raise issues that previous  generations  have not had to deal with,” Mr Stokes said.
“In  the  classroom  and  in  the  playground,  smartphones  provide  opportunities  for students and parents to stay connected, but can also create other problems.
“From screen time,  to cyberbullying and  social  media, smartphones  have  generated concerns  for  parents,  teachers  and  students. Schools need to  have better rules in place around  phones.”
“It is important that we examine parameters around their use in schools to ensure that they  are not a distraction from learning.”
The review will investigate the risks versus rewards of mobile  phone  usage inside the school gates.
“Every school I visit has anecdotal  examples about  the perils or positives  surrounding the use of smartphones and other devices in schools. Principals are adopting  a range of  approaches to managing their use, and we want to ensure we  provide the best possible advice to help them support their students and parents,” Mr Stokes said.
The  review will  examine the  impact of the use of  devices  in schools on students of different ages in terms of  educational outcomes and child development,  as well as their potential benefits when used as part of contemporary  teaching  practice, particularly for students in the latter years of high school.
Other issues for consideration  will include social media age restrictions, student online safety,  examining  the  prevalence  of  cyberbullying  on  school  grounds,  restricting  these  of  mobile  phones  at  primary  schools  and  the  importance  of  students  being contactable  while travelling  to and from school.
The  review will be informed by consultation with parents, students, teachers and principals. Specialist advice  will also be sought from local and international  experts in the fields of child development, cyberbullying, teaching  practice and technology.



Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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