Yes, they make them smarter at Snapchat and Candy Crush, but do they help them crunch a math problem with greater mental alacrity?
One survey suggests not.
Performed by the London School of Economics — an institution that didn’t kick me out — this piece of research suggested that in schools than ban phones, 16-year-olds performed better by a potentially crucial 6.41 percent.
The study, titled Ill Communication: Technology, Distraction & Student Performance (PDF), looked at four English cities and concluded that it was those of lesser natural gifts who benefited most from their school ensuring that they couldn’t play with phones in class.
The researchers looked simply at the timing of phone bans being introduced and then compared test scores before and after.
They were very clear as to their reasoning: “A highly multipurpose technology, such as mobile phones, can have a negative impact on productivity through distraction.”
It doesn’t sound like science when it feels like common sense.