Schools reckon with social stress: ‘I’m on my phone so much’. See more national education news here

| June 11, 2019

By Carolyn Thompson • Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — High school biology teacher Kelly Chavis knew smartphones were a distraction in her class. But not even her students realized the psychological toll of their devices until an in-class experiment that, of course, was then spreading on social media.

For one class period, students used a whiteboard to tally, in real time, every Snapchat, Instagram, text, call or other notification that popped up. Students were told not to respond to avoid generating replies … and further notifications.

Teachers around the country have run similar experiments, typically recording dozens of trips to the board.

“One girl, just during the one hour, got close to 150 Snapchat notifications. 150!” marveled Chavis, who teaches honors-level courses at Rock Hill Schools in South Carolina.

She’s among a growing number of teachers, parents, medical professionals and researchers convinced that smartphones are now playing a major role in accelerating student anxiety — a trend so pervasive that a National Education Association newsletter labelled anxiety a ”mental health tsunami .”

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