France Bans Smartphones, Tablets in Schools

Regulators and programme makers are at odds over whether small children should be banned from watching television or using tablets and smartphones
PAUL CROCK/AFP

France has banned children under the age of fifteen from using smartphones at school.

According to Business Insider, the law prohibits the use of phones, tablets, and smartwatches “at any point during the school day,” including breaks and lunch.

“Schools are free to choose themselves if they will implement the ban for students over 15. There are also some exceptions to the ban, such as for students with disabilities,” Business Insider explained, adding that phones will be locked away until the end of the day.

The law was described as “a law for the 21st century” by French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, who also declared, “Being open to technologies of the future doesn’t mean we have to accept all their uses.”

In May, a student in Texas reportedly assaulted his teacher for taking away his phone.  According to a 2016 study, “children are more proficient in operating a smartphone than in completing basic everyday tasks.”

Breitbart News contributor Marlene Jaeckel wrote about the dangers of smart devices and digital assistants earlier this year.

According to Jaeckel:

Studies show that children are, just like adults, biased to learn from sources that are familiar and look and sound similar to them. This means that children are more likely to accept the information offered by a friendly digital home assistant that they “know” without questioning the answers or asking for evidence.

Unfortunately, the same large Silicon Valley companies and people who have been accused of censorship and discrimination against conservatives are developing these algorithms that answer kids’ questions about the world. In doing so, they are introducing their own ideological biases into A.I. systems like Alexa or Google Assistant.

There is no sign yet that a similar ban will be put in place in the U.K. or U.S., where in many places iPads and other devices have been integrated into the curriculum.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.

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