KUA Design: Separating from Smartphones

Through KUA design, we utilize research-informed teaching and learning strategies so that we can best deliver an experience that will support students in their educational, social, and emotional lives. Each month we’ll share a research-informed strategy you can use at home in the areas of relationships, learning, individuality, and wellbeing.
Splitting Up with Your Smartphone

The presence of our smartphones negatively impacts our cognitive capacities, and the costs are highest for those of us who are already dependent on our devices. Just turning off one’s phone or putting it facedown may be useless to mitigate the effects of phone presence; the recommendation based on the data is separation.
According to a study from the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, “the presence of students’ mobile devices in educational environments may undermine both learning and test performance—particularly when these devices are present but not in use.”
Talk to your students about the research on smartphones and encourage them to practice leaving their phones in their rooms or bags during the school day, or at least during class and study time.
Be intentional about when and how you reach out to your student during the school day via smartphones. Consider daily check-in times that do not coincide with class or study times, activities, and athletic commitments.
Consider your own smartphone use and the impact that it might be having on your attention and working memory. The more you can model being attentive to the present moment, the better.

Learn more about KUA Design, our unique approach to education.