Every second school bans smartphones

July 17, 2023

One third are allowed to use devices during breaks or free periods – Hardly any use for school purposes

At more than every second German school, smartphones are taboo. 54 per cent of students report that private use of the devices on school grounds is prohibited. One third each say that use is only allowed in emergencies or during breaks and free periods. And three per cent are allowed to use their smartphones privately in class, according to a survey of 504 students between 14 and 19 years of age commissioned by the digital association BITKOM (https://bitkom.org).

Younger students targeted

Private use during breaks or free periods is permitted somewhat more often at grammar schools (37 percent) and integrated comprehensive schools (36 percent) than at secondary modern schools (30 percent) or lower secondary schools (20 percent). For the younger ones from 14 to 16 years, the use is more often completely forbidden with 56 percent than for the older ones from 17 to 19 years with 48 percent.

Students are most likely to use their devices at school to listen to music (80 per cent), to communicate with classmates (70 per cent) or to be on social networks like TikTok or Instagram (66 per cent). Smartphones and mobile phones are also used to make phone calls (51 per cent), to take private photos and videos (45 per cent), to find out about the day’s events (30 per cent) or to play games during breaks (26 per cent).

Few cheat

Two-thirds of students (66 per cent) use their devices to look up info about the lesson content during class. In contrast, only 14 per cent use it to look at their timetable, to view or make photos or videos for class (eleven per cent), to communicate with teachers (eight per cent) or to enter or look up homework (seven per cent). Thirteen per cent have used their smartphone to cheat on tests or exams.

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