A word about cell phones
Several studies of wireless radiation in school settings have found that a major source of exposure for many students comes from their personal cell phones and wearables. This is especially true where the closest cell towers may be at some distance from the school, and communication between the student’s cell phone and the distant tower generates significant levels of radiation. Ironically, the constant radiation emitted from a cell tower near or on school grounds can also be a significant risk.
But health is not the only concern. A recent study of college students found that 95% of students bring their phones to class every day, 92% use their phones to text message during class time, and 10% admit they have texted during an exam on at least one occasion. [Tindell & Bohlander, 2012]
The majority of the students surveyed reported that instructors were largely unaware of the extent to which texting and other cell phone activities such as browsing the internet or accessing social media were taking place in the classroom.
Other research has shown that even the presence of a cell phone in the classroom impairs the ability of a student to learn. A study published in the journal Educational Psychology found that students who had cellphones or laptops present while a lesson was being taught scored five percent, or half a letter grade, lower on exams than students who didn't use electronics.
Another study found that students who were not using their mobile phones during a lecture wrote down 62% more information in their notes, took more detailed notes, were able to recall more information from the lecture, and scored a full letter grade and a half higher on a multiple choice test than those students who were actively using their mobile phones.
These studies provide several compelling reasons why schools should ensure a safe and productive learning environment by adopting and enforcing policies that restrict or prohibit cell phones and wearables in classrooms.
For this reason the TechSafeSchools project is focused primarily on hardwiring schools and reducing other sources of wireless radiation in classrooms such as wireless routers, access points, tablets, laptops, smart boards and other wireless devices.