How do COVID-19 and Distance Learning affect your students and classroom management?
The impact of distance learning and lockdown on children and adolescents’ mental health will have a long-lasting effect on students’ social-emotional and academic development. School closures and lockdown restrictions meant children had been physically isolated from their friends. Children have been forced to keep in touch via social media, which can harm children’s development. As current educators, we have personally witnessed our students’ social-emotional and academic effects each passing day. More importantly, these effects will have a continuing impact on students when they return to class in-person. Below are expected problems that current educators will face when our students return to in-person.
- Increase/develop an addiction to cellphones and social media: We expect are more students will use a cellphone in class. They are so used to being distracted during distance learning, the new bad habits will negatively your students’ engagement. Like many teachers, enforcing a cellphone policy will probably the last item on your priority list.
- Cyberbullying among students: Online cyberbullying does not stop students return to in-person learning. Sadly, it will exacerbate the problems. Students hide behind their screens with their rude and mean posts and comments; now, they will face each other in their classes. This will cause unprecedented conflicts among students when they return in person. For example, we would expect students to throw a tantrum or fight in our classes. These hidden conflicts among students are unpredictable and extremely dangerous for all students and the classroom’s teachers.
- Exacerbation of Learning Inequity: Teachers will likely let students, usually high-risk students, use their phones during class. Teachers are stressed, and they will not commit any effort to enforce the cellphone policy. More importantly, students who fail during distance learning will put little effort when they return to in-person are habitually comfortable with failing during distance learning.
- All the challenges and many more new challenges will affect all students’ learning outcomes:
- Increase high failure rates among target students, especially 7-9th graders.
- Increase discipline problems and conflicts among students
- Increase suspension due to increase in severe disciplinary problems and school fights
- Increase cellphone usages in class among students
- Increase in students’ dropouts
- Widen achievement gaps
What is Safe Pouch ®?
Safe Pouch ® is a US-Patented and Registered solution invented by John Nguyen, who has been teaching science at a Title-I high school since 2011. Before 2015, cellphones and social media were never a problem in schools because most students did not have them. Also, social media, YouTube, Netflix, and mobile games were inaccessible by most students. Today, distraction due to cellphone is the leading underlining cause of students’ learning, achievement, and behaviors. It widens the achievement gaps and exasperated learning inequity.
Cellphones also open to cyberbully, academic cheating, depression, and constant distraction. Consequently, it leads to high failure rates in core classes, school fights, drug-related activities, and other disciplinary issues. Cellphones transform schools into toxic and unsafe places for many students.
After more than five years of implementing different cellphone policies in my own classes, I had limited success. Below are some of our trials and errors:
- Posters of “No-cellphones” in my classroom and enforce it when I can.
- Greet students at the door and remind students to put their phones away.
- Confiscate students’ phones
- Ask students to put their phones in a drawer
- Pencil Pouches with locks
- Cellphone cages with locks
- Calling parents
- Refer to administrators
- Organizers with charging USB (other teachers tried it, but it did not affect targeted students)
- Extra credits
- Class participation
- School-wide bans policies
Those are just some examples that I have implemented in my own classes. However, those trials and errors gave rise to the invention of Safe Pouch and our Step-by-Step solution to create phone-free schools and transform learning cultures by integrating Safe Pouch ® with the Multi-tiers System of Support (MTSS).
Step by Step Implementation
Equipment (No Software, No Annual Fees, Easy-to-Use, Washable):
“Easy, Immediate, Sustainable, & Impactful“
There are two versions of Safe Pouch ® for two different tiers in MTSS.
Blue Safe Pouch ® is equipped with a Regular Lock that can be opened with a portable and light-weight, specialized key. It is affordable for schools to afford one for each teacher or staff, so your staff can open students Safe Pouch ® during an emergency. This is implemented Tier 1 schoolwide.
Orange Safe Pouch ® is equipped with a Power Lock that needs Power Key to unlock it. It is 10X more expensive and 5X heavier than the Regular Lock. Each school only needs one or two to implement Tier 2.
MTSS TIER 1 (Phone-Free Culture with Blue Safe Pouch®)
Step 1: Staffs number each Blue Safe Pouch ® to give each student a Blue Safe Pouch ® that will keep and use during their years at your school. Students return the pouch at end of each year, and they get it back at the beginning of a new school year. Why?
COVID: Because of COVID, we want to make each student has his or her own Safe Pouch ®. It like each student has their own Chromebook. Remember, Safe Pouch ® is WASHABLE.
- Because students know they will have the same Blue Safe Pouch ® during their time at your school, they will value it and encourage to use it. IT’S WASHABLE. We also provide Low-Cost Repair Services.
- We reduce the probability of students and teachers touching different Safe Pouch since each student carries his or her own Blue Safe Pouch®.
- Parents can buy our Regular Lock to implement Safe Pouch ® at home too. Students at home already have the pouch. This empowers parents to promote engagement at home during distance or hybrid learning.
Step 2: Daily Routines
At the beginning of your first period of the day, those teachers enforce that all students put their phones in their pouches. At the end of the last period, those teachers unlock students Blue Safe Pouch ®. Why?
- This simple procedure locks all students’ phones at the beginning of each school day. Because it is in class, the teachers can make sure all students put their real phones inside and enforce Tier 2 intervention for any students who refuse to do it or forgot their Blue Safe Pouch at home. Students who forgot their pouches will use an Orange Safe Pouch. Defiant students are sent to administrators to get their phone lock in the Safe Pouch ® and other consequences. Those students who carry the Orange Safe Pouch ® with them will send a powerful message to other students throughout the entire school day.
- It prevents students from putting their fake phones inside the pouch.
- Most importantly, teachers will never have to deal cellphone problems for the rest of the school’s day.
Possible Parents’ Concerns:
- Can parents and students communicate with a passing period or lunchtime?
- Yes! All Safe Pouch ® has openings that allow users to push buttons to make a Voice command to make calls or answer calls.
- How quickly my child can access their phones during a schoolwide emergency?
- Because all teachers and staff have the light-weight regular locks for Blue Safe Pouch, they can quickly unlock the pouch. For students with Orange Safe Pouch, they can use the opening to make voice commands to make calls or answer calls.
- Can Parent Purchase the Regular Lock and additional Blue Safe Pouches to use at home?
- Yes! Parents should be empowered by Safe Pouch home to help their children at home. As teachers, we know parent’s involvement is essential to students’ learning and success.
- Why can my child access their phones during lunch?
- Depending on a school’s decision. However, giving student access during lunch break the habit and remind students of their addiction to cellphones. Consequently, teachers have to deal with it after lunch is over. Students are more challenging after lunches. Over, lunchtime is also time for students to learn essential social skills.
MTSS TIER 2 (Redefine School’s Discipline and Transform School’s culture with PBIS and Orange Safe Pouch®)
Think Outside the Box: Many schools’ disciplinary consequences and procedures limit their administrators to disciplinary tools (e.g., class suspension, school suspension, parent-call, or detention) that often remove students from the learning opportunities. More important, they are not immediate and have little impact on targeted students, who care little about grades. Some may not care about their parent’s involvement. Furthermore, these consequences stigmatize students with negative labels while increasing your school’s overall number of suspensions.
Fortunately, the majority of these students are addicted to their cellphone and social media.
We invented the Orange Safe Pouch® with the Power Lock to empower all administrators with a powerful and positive disciplinary tool that is easy, positive, immediate, and impactful.
Step 1: Daily Implementation with Orange Safe Pouch®.
When teachers send students to the office due to minor disciplinary problems, administrators can lock students’ phones in the Orange Safe Pouch. Of course, students’ behaviors may not be related to their cellphones. However, these students care about their cellphone. The Orange Safe Pouch® is a reminder for students to reflect on their behavior throughout the day. Furthermore, it prevents students from engaging on social media to express their feelings, which often leads to fights during or after school. The Orange Safe Pouch® gives students time and quiet space to think about their actions. Note: You administrators will probably come up with a better reason.
What other disciplinary problems that Administrators can use Orange Safe Pouch to reduce the problem.
- Lock up phones of students who are Tardy
- Lock up phones of students who ditch their classes
- Lock up phones of students who engage in pre-fight arguments.
- Lock up phones of Seniors who fail many classes.
- Lock up phones of Students who fail many classes.
Why? It forces students to return the Orange Safe Pouch to school staff at the end of the day; therefore, it gives the staff valuable opportunities to talk to the students about the students’ actions. Altogether, this creates an opportunity to build a staff to build rapport and relationship with a student.
Common Administrators’ concerns?
How is the Orange Safe Pouch® more positive and impactful than other PBIS tools?
Most PBIS consequences often focus on talking about the students about behaviors and little immediate accountability for the students. In the end, the same students come back for the same violations. Orange Safe Puch is immediate and impactful so that students will feel the consequences of their actions. Most importantly, students are not removed from their learning for minor discipline problems.
What if a student does not return the Orange Safe Pouch® at the end of the day?
Their phones are lock inside the Orange Safe Pouch® that can only be unlocked with Power Key. Of course, the students may decide to destroy the Orange Safe Pouch to remove their phones, but they know that they are responsible for the pouch that is given to them. How many pouches will they destroy, and their parents have to pay for until they learn their lesson?
How does the combination of Blue Safe Pouch® and Orange Safe Pouch® may create a safer schools for students.
Often, school fights and other inappropriate activities are started online. With their cellphones locked away, they cannot engage in any inappropriate discussion online. Most importantly, it also automatically eliminate about 95% of students at school from participating in any inappropriate online discussion.
What are possible measurable outcomes that you may observe at your schools when implementing Safe Pouch®?
- Phone-Free schools
- Reduce cyberbully and therefore reduce possible school fights
- Increase students’ engagements and learning
- Increase student achievements for all students.
- No more complaints from teachers about cellphone problems.
- Empower administrators with a high-impact, easy, and immediate disciplinary tool
- Save money. Because cellphone is the underlining cause of many problems. Solving it will also solve many other problems. Altogether, this will save your school a lot of money.
- Most importantly, Safe Pouch is easy, affordable, and sustainable.
What are possible cons?
- Teachers who rely on cellphones to keep students quiet will have to teach those students.
- Classroom may get a little noisy because students are communicating with each other.
We have a limited supply. Please order now to reserve your Pouch to transform your schools.
It’s so easy to use. You don’t have to wait for a new school year to make a difference.