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UNESCO Report Ceases the Use of Smart Phones in Schools

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A new UN report has been released by the UNESCO which includes the concerned excessive use of smart phones. The action to ban smart phones is encouraged to all schools worldwide via this report. 

The UNESCO has a strong reason to initiate this action worldwide. According to the UN’s education, science and culture agency, the over-use of mobile phones impacts learning. The report, titled, ‘Technology in Education’ carefully considers the use of technology in schools. The need for ‘Human-Centered vision’ is encouraged because digital technology is and should be treated as a tool rather than taking the place of an educator. 

Speaking to UN News, UNESCO’s Manos Antoninis also warned of the danger of data leaks in educational tech, as only 16 per cent of countries guarantee data privacy in the classroom, by law. 

“We know that vast amounts of data are being used without the appropriate regulation, so this data ends up being used for other non-educational purposes, commercial purposes and that’s of course a violation of rights that needs to be regulated.”

The report intensely highlights disparities created by digital learning. UNESCO is urging countries to set their own standards for the way technology is designed and used in education such that it never replaces in-person, teacher-led instruction and supports the shared objective of quality education for all.

“The digital revolution holds immeasurable potential but, just as warnings have been voiced for how it should be regulated in society, similar attention must be paid to the way it is used in education,” warned UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.  

“Its use must be for enhanced learning experiences and for the well-being of students and teachers, not to their detriment.”

The report, launched at an event in Montevideo, Uruguay, which was hosted by UNESCO and ministry of education and culture of Uruguay inserted the topic ‘Technology in Education: A Tool on Whose Terms?’. 

The event had the support from Ceibal foundation and 18 ministers of education from around the world, which had 4 questions presented before them, that made the policymakers and educators reflect on their actions as educational technology gets more accessible and utilized around the globe.

The first being, appropriate use of technology in schools, are phones really needed by kids?  “We need to teach children to live both with and without technology; to take what they need from the abundance of information, but to ignore what is not necessary; to let technology support, but never supplant human interactions in teaching and learning,” said Manos Antoninis, the Director responsible for producing the report.  

Next, is it scalable? “Let’s not forget that to be able to navigate the digital world, we don’t necessarily need very sophisticated skills. Those who have the best reading skills are those least likely to be duped by a phishing email, for instance,” said Mr. Antoninis.  

As the questions were placed forth before them, education ministers were asked to learn from their mistakes in the past and to build a new future around technology. Making the kids to not be completely dependent on phones/technology but rather their own wit, strength and capabilities. 

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