HealthNewsPoliticsThe MacroscopeWork and Education

France bans smartphones from classrooms

What happened?

The French parliament has officially banned students under the age of 15 from using smartphones and other personal electronic devices in schools. This measure, which fulfills a campaign promise of President Macron’s party, also allows other schools, such as the lycées where student study until age 18, to forbid personal technology at their discretion. The goal of this rather conservative measure is to restore public health and to encourage students to play regular games, such as soccer, as Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer said.

What does this mean?

This measure is only the latest in a long series meant to discourage excessive smartphone usage. An important voice in this wave is intellectual Jaron Larnier who believes that smartphones and social media have negative impacts on our minds. Indeed, even Google and Apple have begun programs to discourage users from spending too much time behind screens. The French education system is centrally organized, so substantiating and perhaps expanding this ban is easily accomplished.

What’s next?

As they are less centrally organized, it is unlikely that such a ban could be implemented in German, Dutch or American schools. However, it is likely that individual schools throughout the world will elect to enforce policies like these. It should be noted, though, that this does not imply that education technology will be banned outright. Rather, students will use in-class computers. In fact, the actual classroom usage of computers might continue to grow within school walls, even in France, while smartphone and tablet ‘edtech’ loses ground.