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Stop Phone Distractions in Classroom: Multi-tiered Safe Pouch Turn Addictions into Motivations
Use Students’ Addictions to Stop Phone Distractions in the classroom and solve many problems.
The problems associated with cell phones and social media in schools are complex and multifaceted, involving various issues that impact students’ behavior, academic performance, and overall well-being. Some of the key challenges associated with cell phones and social media in schools include the following:
- Distraction: Cell phones and social media can be a major source of distraction for students, making it difficult for them to focus on their schoolwork and participate in class discussions.
- Cyberbullying: Social media can also be a platform for cyberbullying, which can have serious negative consequences for students’ mental health and academic performance.
- Addiction: Cell phones and social media can be addictive, leading to negative impacts on students’ behavior and academic performance.
- Sleep disruption: The use of cell phones and social media can also disrupt students’ sleep patterns, leading to fatigue, poor academic performance, and other negative health outcomes.
- Privacy concerns: Social media can also raise concerns about privacy and safety, as students may be vulnerable to online predators or other risks associated with sharing personal information online.
- Social comparison: Social media can also contribute to feelings of social comparison, leading to negative impacts on students’ self-esteem and mental health.
The problems associated with cell phones and social media in schools are complex and multifaceted, involving various issues that impact students’ behavior, academic performance, and overall well-being. Teachers and parents can help students develop good habits and succeed in school and beyond by understanding these challenges and developing effective strategies for addressing them.
Power of Addiction
Addiction is a powerful psychological factor that can influence students’ behaviors in a significant way. Addiction is a pattern of behavior characterized by the repeated use of a substance or engagement in a behavior despite negative consequences. In the context of education, addiction to technology and digital devices, such as smartphones, can have a significant impact on students’ behavior and academic performance.
Addiction can influence students’ behavior by creating a strong desire to engage in the addictive behavior or use the addictive substance. This desire can override other priorities or motivations, leading students to prioritize their addiction over other important tasks, such as completing homework assignments or participating in class discussions.
Additionally, addiction can impact students’ behavior by affecting their moods and emotions. For example, if students are addicted to social media, they may experience negative emotions such as anxiety or depression when they cannot access it. This can lead to negative behavior, such as moodiness or irritability, impacting their interactions with others and leading to many class discipline problems.
Furthermore, addiction can impact students’ behavior by altering their brain chemistry. Research has shown that addiction can alter the brain’s reward system, leading to changes in behavior and motivation. For example, addiction to technology can lead to a desire for instant gratification and a decreased ability to delay gratification. This negatively impacts students’ ability to focus on long-term goals and develop sustained intrinsic motivation.
Addiction is a powerful psychological factor that can significantly impact students’ behaviors. By understanding addiction’s role in behavior and academic performance, teachers and parents can develop effective strategies for motivating students and promoting good habits. By leveraging students’ addiction to technology as an extrinsic motivator and creating a positive classroom culture that fosters sustained intrinsic motivation, we can help students develop the skills and habits necessary for success in school and beyond.
Almost Impossible to Break the Addictions?
Breaking away from addiction is often difficult and challenging for anyone, including students. Addiction is a complex psychological phenomenon that involves both physical and psychological dependence on a substance or behavior. The following are some reasons why it can be challenging for students to break away from their addictions:
- Strong cravings: Addiction creates intense cravings that can be difficult to resist. The desire to engage in addictive behavior or use an addictive substance or device can be overwhelming and difficult.
- Withdrawal symptoms: When someone is addicted to a substance, their body and brain depend on it. If they try to stop using the substance, they may experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, anxiety, and depression.
- Emotional attachment: Addictive behaviors or substances can provide a temporary escape from stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. Students struggling with these emotions may feel emotionally attached to their addiction to cope with their feelings.
- Environmental triggers: Addiction can be reinforced by environmental triggers, such as certain places, people, or situations. These triggers can create powerful associations between the addictive behavior or substance and certain environments, making it difficult for students to break away from their addiction in those situations.
- Social pressure: Peer pressure and social norms can also make it difficult for students to break away from addiction. Students may feel pressure to conform to the behavior of their peers, even if it is harmful to them.
Breaking away from addiction is a challenging process that requires a combination of willpower, support, and professional help. By understanding the reasons why addiction is difficult to overcome, teachers and parents can develop effective strategies for helping students break away from their addictions and develop sustained intrinsic motivation and good habits.
The Neuroscience of Addictions
There is a significant body of scientific and neuroscience research that supports the idea that addiction is a complex phenomenon involving chemical changes in the brain. Studies have shown that repeated exposure to addictive substances or behaviors can alter the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, including dopamine. This neurotransmitter is associated with pleasure and reward.
For example, a study published in the journal Trends in Neuroscience found that addiction can alter the brain’s reward system, leading to changes in behavior and motivation. The study suggests that addiction can lead to an imbalance in the brain’s dopamine system, which can contribute to the development of addictive behaviors.
Similarly, a study published in the journal Addiction Biology found that exposure to addictive substances can lead to changes in the brain’s glutamate system, which is involved in learning and memory. The study suggests that these changes can contribute to the development of addiction and the difficulty of breaking away from addictive behaviors.
Other studies have shown that addiction can impact the structure and function of the brain in significant ways. For example, a study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that addiction can lead to changes in the brain’s gray matter, which is involved in cognitive function and decision-making. The study suggests that these changes can contribute to the difficulty of breaking away from addictive behaviors.
Overall, scientific and neuroscience research suggests that addiction is a complex phenomenon that involves chemical changes in the brain. By understanding the underlying mechanisms of addiction, teachers and parents can develop effective strategies for helping students break away from their addictions and develop sustained intrinsic motivation and good habits.
Phone and Social Media Addictions
Cell phones and social media are designed to be addictive through the use of various techniques that engage users and keep them coming back for more. These techniques are often based on principles of behavioral psychology and neuroscience.
One of the key techniques used to make cell phones and social media addictive is using variable rewards. This technique provides users with unpredictable rewards, such as likes, comments, or messages, delivered at irregular intervals. This creates a sense of anticipation and excitement that can lead to addictive behavior.
Another technique used to make cell phones and social media addictive is the use of “infinite scrolling.” This feature allows users to endlessly scroll through content, creating a sense of endless possibility and a desire to keep scrolling. This can lead to addictive behavior, as users find it difficult to stop scrolling and disengage from the platform.
Social media platforms also use social validation to make them addictive. This involves providing users with feedback on their posts, such as likes or comments, that reinforce their social status or self-worth. This can lead to addictive behavior, as users seek to maintain or increase their social validation by posting more frequently or engaging with other users.
Finally, cell phones and social media are designed to be easily accessible and convenient. This allows users to quickly and easily engage with the platform, making it difficult to disengage or break away from the addictive behavior.
Overall, cell phones and social media are designed to be addictive through the use of variable rewards, infinite scrolling, social validation, and convenience. By understanding these techniques, teachers and parents can develop effective strategies for promoting good habits and reducing the negative impact of cell phones and social media on students’ behavior and academic performance.
Negative Impacts on Students’ Behaviors
Social media can have a significant impact on students’ neurological chemicals, according to research in the field of neuroscience. One of the key neurotransmitters that social media can impact is dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, reward, and motivation.
Studies have shown that social media use can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, creating a “reward loop” that can lead to addictive behavior. For example, a study published in the journal Psychological Science found that social media use activates the brain’s reward system similarly to other pleasurable activities, such as eating or sex.
Furthermore, social media can impact the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which is involved in decision-making and impulse control. A study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience found that social media use can lead to changes in the prefrontal cortex associated with decreased self-control and increased risk-taking behavior.
Other studies have shown that social media can impact the brain’s stress response system, leading to increased levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that social media use can lead to increased levels of cortisol in the body, which can have negative effects on mood, cognition, and behavior.
Overall, scientific evidence suggests that social media can have a significant impact on students’ neurological chemicals, particularly dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, reward, and motivation. By understanding the neurological effects of social media, teachers and parents can develop effective strategies for promoting good habits and reducing the negative impact of social media on students’ behavior and academic performance.
Extrinsic Motivations Build Intrinsic Motivations
Students’ behavior can have a significant impact on their academic success and overall well-being. As such, teachers and parents alike are constantly seeking ways to improve students’ behaviors and habits. One approach that has gained attention recently is using extrinsic motivation to build intrinsic motivation and good habits. Extrinsic motivation, such as rewards or punishments, can initially motivate students to develop good habits, which can then lead to intrinsic motivation and sustained good behavior.
According to Edward L. Deci, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, “extrinsic motivation can be a powerful tool for building intrinsic motivation because it can help students develop an interest in a particular activity or behavior.” This sentiment is echoed by numerous other psychologists and researchers who have studied the effects of extrinsic motivation on behavior.
Research has shown that extrinsic rewards can be an effective tool for building good habits and intrinsic motivation. For example, a study conducted by Dr. Mark R. Lepper, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, found that children who received stickers for completing a task were more likely to continue the task than those who did not receive stickers. Similarly, a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that students who received tangible rewards for reading books were more likely to continue reading than those who did not receive rewards.
While extrinsic rewards can be effective in the short term, it is important to note that they should not be overused. As stated by Dr. Richard M. Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, “the key is to use extrinsic rewards in a way that encourages students to develop an interest in the activity or behavior, rather than solely focusing on the reward itself.” Gradually reducing the use of extrinsic rewards and providing opportunities for students to reflect on their progress and success can help build intrinsic motivation and sustainable good habits.
Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch incorporates students’ phone and social media addictions as extrinsic motivation to build intrinsic motivation and good habits. We will examine the psychology behind this approach and provide scientific research evidence to support its effectiveness. Additionally, we will discuss specific strategies that teachers and parents can use to implement this approach in their classrooms and homes. By understanding and utilizing the power of extrinsic motivation, we can help students develop the skills and habits necessary for success in school and beyond.
Furthermore, with the proliferation of technology, students are increasingly addicted to their phones and other devices. This addiction can be a significant distraction in the classroom and can negatively impact students’ behavior and academic performance. However, it can also present an opportunity for using extrinsic motivation to build intrinsic motivation and good habits. By using students’ addiction to their phones as an extrinsic motivator, schools and parents can provide incentives for positive behavior and help students develop the self-discipline necessary for success.
How Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch Phone Addictions to Motivations Effectively.
First, it is important to recognize students’ phones are their property and rights; however, schools and teachers have expectations that require all students to follow when they are on campus or in class. It is an Education Ed Code, or Law, in California and most states.
Mistakes–Don’t See the Big Pictures
Most schools make common mistakes because they only see phones as problems, and they want to implement quick solutions and hope they will work. More importantly, such school leaders often implement incomplete solutions by shifting the responsibility to either teachers or administrators rather than working together as a team. Below are three common ineffective solutions we observed in most schools.
1. Passive cell phone policies without practical accountability and consequences are ineffective.
Passive cell phone policies in classrooms refer to policies that prohibit the use of phones but do not include practical accountability and consequences for breaking the rules. While these policies may seem effective in theory, they often have little impact on actual phone use in the classroom.
Without practical accountability and consequences for phone use, students may still be tempted to check their phones during class, knowing that there will be no consequences for doing so. Moreover, passive policies do not encourage students to develop good phone habits, and they may not be aware of the negative impacts of phone use on their academic performance and mental health.
Additionally, passive policies can be difficult to enforce, and teachers may not have the time or resources to monitor phone use during class actively. This can lead to inconsistencies in enforcement, which can create confusion and frustration among students.
Overall, passive cell phone policies without practical accountability and consequences have little impact on actual phone use in the classroom. It is essential for schools to establish clear phone usage policies and practical accountability measures to ensure students are aware of the negative impacts of phone use and are held accountable for breaking the rules.
2. School leaders shifting responsibility to teachers to create engaging lessons does not help reduce phone distractions if there are no effective phone policies being enforced.
Shifting the responsibility of creating engaging lessons solely to teachers does not necessarily help reduce phone distractions in classrooms if there are no effective phone policies being enforced. While engaging lessons can be a useful tool in maintaining student attention and reducing phone use, it is not the only factor that affects phone use in the classroom.
Without effective phone policies being enforced, students may still be tempted to use their phones during class, regardless of how engaging the lesson may be. Moreover, teachers may not have the time or resources to create engaging lessons for every class, and it is not their sole responsibility to do so.
Additionally, shifting responsibility to teachers without implementing effective phone policies can create frustration and burnout among teachers. It is not fair to place the burden of reducing phone use on teachers alone, as it is the responsibility of the entire school community to ensure a productive and focused learning environment.
Overall, while engaging lessons can be a useful tool in reducing phone distractions, it is not the sole responsibility of teachers to create them. Effective phone policies must be implemented and enforced to ensure students are held accountable for their phone use and that the learning environment remains productive and focused.
3. Extreme phone policies that lock up ALL students’ phones throughout the school days or confiscate them face many backlashes, resistance, and unintentional problems for teachers and administrators.
Extreme phone policies that involve locking up all students’ phones throughout the school day may not be practical and can face many backlashes, resistance, and unintentional problems for teachers and administrators.
Firstly, locking up all students’ phones can create logistical problems, as teachers and administrators may not have the resources to manage and store all of the phones. Additionally, this can lead to students losing or damaging their phones, creating a liability issue for the school.
Moreover, extreme phone policies can face resistance from students, parents, and teachers who feel that their rights to personal property and communication are being violated. This can create a negative environment and lead to resentment among students, parents, and teachers.
Additionally, extreme phone policies may unintentionally create other problems, such as increased stress and anxiety among students who feel disconnected from their peers and social media. Furthermore, students who rely on their phones for communication with parents or guardians may feel anxious and isolated without their phones.
Most importantly, imagine the legal liability for schools and districts if an unexpected tragedy like a natural disaster, mass shooting, and similar energy.
Why don’t many school administrators want to deal with phone distraction problems?
Many school administrators may not have the resources and time to support teachers to deal with students who violate phone policies over time. This can be due to various factors, such as limited budgets, understaffing, and competing priorities.
Effective enforcement of phone policies requires consistent monitoring and support from school administrators, as well as appropriate consequences for students who violate the rules. However, this can be a time-consuming process that requires significant resources, such as additional staff and technology.
Furthermore, administrators may have competing priorities that take precedence over phone policy enforcement, such as addressing student safety concerns, managing budgets, and meeting academic performance standards. This can create a lack of resources and time for supporting teachers in dealing with phone policy violations.
Additionally, some school administrators may not view phone policy enforcement as a high priority or may not be aware of the negative impacts of phone use on students’ academic performance and mental health. This can lead to a lack of support for teachers in dealing with phone policy violations and a lack of accountability for students who break the rules.
Many school administrators may not have the resources and time to support teachers in dealing with phone policy violations, leading to inconsistencies in enforcement and a lack of consequences for students who break the rules. It is essential for administrators to prioritize phone policy enforcement and provide the necessary resources and support to ensure a productive and focused learning environment for all students.
How Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch empowers teachers and administrators to stop phone distractions in classrooms.
How Extrinsic motivations help build life-long intrinsic motivations
Extrinsic motivations, such as rewards and punishments, can be very effective in improving behaviors and building intrinsic motivation later. Extrinsic motivations provide clear guidelines and expectations for students, as well as immediate consequences for their actions. This can help students understand the importance of following rules and making positive choices.
Furthermore, extrinsic motivations can help students develop good habits over time. By consistently rewarding positive behavior and punishing negative behavior, students can develop a sense of accountability and responsibility for their actions. This can lead to a sense of intrinsic motivation, where students make positive choices for their own benefit, rather than simply to avoid negative consequences.
Moreover, extrinsic motivations can help students develop a sense of accomplishment and pride in their achievements. When students receive rewards for their positive behavior, they are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their achievements. This can create a positive cycle, where students are motivated to continue making positive choices to receive more rewards and positive feedback.
Overall, while extrinsic motivations may not be the only factor in improving behavior and building intrinsic motivation, they can be a useful tool in creating a positive learning environment. By providing clear guidelines, consequences, and rewards, teachers and administrators can help students develop good habits and intrinsic motivation over time.
How Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch incorporated a Multi-Tiered System of Support, Positive Behavioral Intervention System, and Restorative Practices to stop phone distractions in classrooms.
Flexible, Scaleable, and Individual Teacher-Driven implementation
Unlike many other programs, individual teachers can immediately implement Safe Pouch in their classrooms without waiting for schoolwide initiatives, so they can gain many benefits immediately.
These types of programs provide teachers with the autonomy to design and implement interventions that are tailored to their individual classrooms and teaching styles. This approach allows teachers to take ownership of the intervention process, which can lead to greater motivation and engagement in the implementation process.
Moreover, flexible and scalable intervention programs can be adjusted and modified based on the needs and preferences of individual teachers and students. This allows for greater flexibility and adaptability, as teachers can modify the intervention as needed to ensure its effectiveness.
Additionally, flexible and scalable intervention programs are often more sustainable than school-wide interventions, as they can be more easily implemented with little starting cost and scale up if needed.
All a teacher needs is an Essential Blue Safe Pouch Starter Set of 7-15 pouches, 1 poster, and 1 end-nipper. When a school wants to scale up and implement in other teachers’ classes, they just buy more sets.
Lastly, when schools want to maximize the full benefits of the Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch, they can implement Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouch without having to start all over.
How does a Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch work?
Set High Expectations for all students with practical, impactful, and immediate accountability and consequences
Because all students know they will get the immediate consequences for ignoring phone policies, at least 75% – 95% of the students will follow the expectations. Without a Safe Pouch, most teachers either attempt to confiscate students’ devices or class suspends the students for refusing to give up their devices. Either method often causes the teachers to waste valuable instructional time on meaningless and disruptive arguments with students because students are very possessive of their devices. It’s a risk that many teachers, especially new or shy teachers, would never take again.\
Introducing Blue Safe Pouch! Now, teachers can lock up a student’s device (and earbuds) in a pouch when they are caught having them out in class. Since the students get to keep their devices at their desks, they will not argue with the teachers and may face harsher consequences such as confiscation of devices, parents’ call, or referral. After class, the students bring up the pouch, and they can get their device out and move on. Students who repeatedly ignore the phone policies will no longer just get their devices locked up, but they will also get parent calls and possible referrals.
More importantly, other teachers and I also implement the pouch to reduce tardiness and students’ eating in our classes. We locked up any tardy students’ devices, and we observed an immediate and significant reduction of tardiness in all classes. Likewise, we lock up any snack when we catch students having it out or eating in our classes. Instantly, we no longer have problems with students snacking in our classes, so there are no more noisy crunchy sounds of chips in our classes.
However, the most important benefit is using the Safe Pouch to support students in danger of failing. We give those students extra credit points for touching up their phones daily until they pass. Instantly, we observed immediate changes and re-engagement among those students and other students in the class. Since we implemented the strategies, we have been appreciated by students’ parents and even most of the students themselves. For us, our parents’ calls are now ended with immediate and practical interventions and solutions to support the struggling students.
Because schools don’t have to lock up or confiscate all students’ devices, they may have reduced their workload by 95%. More importantly, most of the problems are solved in a class by the teachers immediately; therefore, reducing the workload for administrators to only work with the most challenging students.
Empower Administrators and Maximize Effectiveness with Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouch.
With Blue Safe Pouch in the classrooms, 85% – 95% of the problems are solved in the classrooms by the teachers. However, the rest of the 10% is the most defiant and challenging students. As we mentioned before, most administrators do not prioritize phone distractions as important problems; rather, some even think it is the teachers’ problem for having little classroom management skills or boring lessons. Even though some of those administrators are aware of the severity of the problems, very few will take any serious actions to enforce impactful consequences when a teacher refers students because of cell phone problems.–they talk to the students and let them back to the class the next day.
It’s all changed with the Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouch. An administrator or their secretary staff can immediately lock up the students’ devices for the rest of the school days or multiple days if students repeatedly ignore cell phone expectations and policies. Imagine what happens inside those students’ minds as they carry their phones in an Orange Safe Pouch around schools and among their peers. Soon, the students will influence their peers not to ignore cell phone expectations in any classroom. Therefore, Safe Pouch respect students’ rights while using students’ phone addictions and phones as extrinsic rewards and consequences to improve students’ behaviors.
Over time, the Mutli-Tiered Safe Pouch will become the symbol of high expectations, immediate accountability, and positive consequences among all students and staff. Altogether, it will create a culture of distractions free while teaching our students to build essential life-long habits and responsibilities.
Ryan, R. M. (2017). Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness. New York, NY: Guilford Press.