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Disconnected to Connect

In the digital era, where mobile devices have become ubiquitous, the question arises of whether the non-use of cell phones in educational environments can positively influence students’ and teachers’ academic and psychological development. At SEK Paraguay, disconnecting at school will deliver significant benefits in an increasingly connected context.

Limiting the use of cell phones in the classroom allows students to fully immerse themselves in educational content, eliminating irrelevant digital distractions that tend to interrupt the lesson flow. By focusing on the material presented and actively participating in discussions, students will be focused on learning more effectively and developing critical skills. Creativity and imagination will be stimulated by fostering experiential learning methods. This methodology encourages students to explore new forms of expression, engage in stimulating debates, and develop cognitive skills that may need to be more easily cultivated in a digital environment.

On the other hand, not using cell phones in educational settings establishes a clear boundary between study time and digital leisure time. By encouraging healthy and balanced study habits, students can learn to manage their time more effectively, improving their academic performance and overall well-being. Recent studies have shown that the constant flow of notifications and the pressure to keep up with social media can significantly contribute to students’ stress and anxiety (Portillo Reyes et al., 2021). The non-use of cell phones creates a distraction-free space, allowing students to focus on their education and reduce the mental burden associated with constant connectivity.

Undoubtedly, another aspect that experiences notable benefits is interpersonal relationships. Actual interaction between students and teachers will be enhanced. A more collaborative learning environment is promoted by removing the digital barrier, and interpersonal relationships are strengthened. This benefits the educational environment and contributes to the development of essential social skills for life.

By restricting the use of mobile phones in school, we aim to improve academic performance and promote a healthier psychological environment. All this does not make us oblivious to the difficulties that these changes may represent for educational community members. We know that resistance to change will be a challenge we must deal with. However, like everything in life, it will be a matter of habit. Imposing limits always involves adapting to new dynamics and modes of interaction, challenging the resistance to change that often arises. In this context, it is essential to remember that by disconnecting, students and teachers can fully immerse themselves in the learning process, build meaningful relationships, and cultivate essential skills that have recently taken a backseat due to the misuse of information and communication technologies.

Paula Ovelar


SEK Paraguay School

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