Many teachers now use Yondr phone pouches to reduce student phone use during the school day.
By DE’ZHUN FOX & HEAVEN JOHNSON
Oakland High adopted magnetic-locking Yondr phone pouches at the beginning of this year for students to put their phones in when they get to class so they don’t get distracted.
After starting the program with 12 teachers last January, the school expanded to add all ninth-grade and Special Ed classes this year at a cost of approximately $5,000 per year, according to the school principal Matin Abdel-qawi. Abdel reported that the teachers said that it helped the students focus more.
“I like the Yondr pouches because they really help my students stay focused and get their grades right in my class,” said Andrea Spoto, a science teacher. She also said she wishes there was another way to open the Yondr pouches instead of the magnets because for certain activities and classwork, she wants students to have a way to get their phones out to search the internet or play games.
There are several different schools in the Bay Area that use these magnetic pouches, including San Lorenzo High School and Edison Charter Academy.
Sophomore Melany Chavez said she doesn’t like the pouches and doesn’t get the point.“We don’t need them,” said Chavez. “We could just put [our phones] away. If you wanna use your phone in class and not get an education, it’s on you. We are getting older and we should start knowing what is and what is not good for us.”
History teacher Miriam Perlmutter said disconnecting the students from phones is a great thing to do.
Perlmutter also said some teachers give their students a choice to put their phone away and get their work done or use their phone, do nothing, and fail. Perlmutter said she will not give her students a choice about phones because she wants them to do their work, get a good grade, come to class, and get an education.
She feels that the Yondr pouch helps her students stay focused, but also expressed a concern that people may not get to their phone in time for an emergency.