© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Educators and administrators vote to lock up student cellphones in Akron Schools

The next generation of cell phone technology will be much faster but require far more antennas than carriers currently use.
Lionel Bonaventure
AFP/Getty Images
Cell phones will soon be placed in Yondr bags as students enter many Akron city schools.

In February, the Akron Board of Education voted to test out a program in several schools in an attempt to address safety and behavioral issues.

It required students to lock up their cellphones in bags for the duration of the school day.

For that pilot program, each student was given a Yondr bag and was expected to lock their phone inside at the beginning of the school day. Those bags are magnetic and would be unsealed at the end of the day.

A district survey of teachers from the three schools that took part in the pilot showed overwhelming support for continuing the program, something Akron Public Schools is preparing to do for next school year.

At the end of June, the Board of Education voted to expand the program and purchase over 10,000 Yondr bags to be used in 13 schools.

All of this action comes as an attempt to reckon with safety measures in the school district. It's also seen to help students pay better attention in class and has even led to more socialization.

Monday on the “Sound of Ideas,” we'll dig into cellphones in the classroom and how Akron Public Schools is looking to eliminate the potential problems. While many educators supported the move, some students and parents have concerns.

To close the show today, we’ll hear from Northeast Ohio author Claire McMillan about her new book that's out this week.

- Stephen Thompson, Chief Financial Officer, Akron Public Schools
- Jennifer Pignolet, Education Reporter, Akron-Beacon Journal
- Alana Treen, Teacher, East High School
- Larry Johnson, Secondary Supervisor of Principals, Akron Public Schools
- Patricia Shipe, President, Akron Education Association
- Carrie Wise, Deputy Editor for Arts and Culture, Ideastream Public Media
- Claire McMillan, Author, "Alchemy of a Blackbird"

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.