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Smart move by schools...

By Reem Antoon

As many of you may have read already France has banned smartphones and tablets from all French schools ahead of the academic year.

Under the new law, which will apply to students up to the age of 15 all connected devices must be left at home or remain switched off until the end of the day.

Schools may make exceptions for ‘pedagogical use’, extra-curricular activities, or for disabled pupils.

High schools can decide individually whether to impose a partial or total ban on connected devices.

What do you think of this move? I believe it is a good one, especially since the country has allowed the schools for older students to decide for themselves whether to bring this into effect or not.

Preschoolers, nursery goers and children in the first few years of school really do not need a mobile or a tablet to learn from.

However, with technology what it is today, children must move with the times I guess.

One of the most common strengths from the use of phones/tablets in schools would be accessing digital textbook and engaging deeper with the material presented.

In 2012, Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Mohammad Bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme, offering schools a new mode of teaching through the integration of technology into the education system.

Since its inception, the programme has been introducing smart classes in federal schools around the UAE with the ultimate goal of providing every government school student with a tablet device by 2019.

The programme is aligned with the UAE Vision 2021, which seeks to transform the nation into a flexible and diversified knowledge-based economy.

But I guess not everyone sees it like that.

The Sharjah Educational Zone recently decided to ban pupils in Sharjah schools from bringing mobile phones to school.

Schools have been asked to confiscate mobile phones and tablet computers brought to school by pupils.

Apparently, there had been an increasing number of children taking phones to schools, misusing and posting photos on social networking sites.

I guess though, whatever, or however decisions are made, the days of traditional classrooms of one teacher, a desk and a chalk board are long gone.

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