Bronx school moves to eliminate Wi-Fi access from student phones
- At the Bronx High School of Science, student Wi-Fi use on personal smartphones took so much bandwidth that the network wasn't functional for some educational purposes, leading the school to ban student access via personal devices.
- To make sure the ban is actually being followed, the school tracks and blocks those devices, one by one.
- Other schools in NYC are facing similar issues, and historically, web connectivity in the city has been spotty, according to a 2013 report that said 75% of schools had "excruciatingly slow Internet speeds" without accounting for student smartphone use.
As personal cellphones and smartphones proliferate, it's easy to see how this could become a larger problem in states other than New York.
In fact, in Pinellas County, FL, a similar ban that went into effect earlier this school year has sparked a wave of creativity in students as they try to find a way around the rule. Wi-Fi access is granted only on school-issued devices, and the access password is changed monthly.
Studies have shown that schools that ban cell phones all together reap the benefits, with students earning what amounts to a full extra week of learning time, according to the Guardian. The outlet reports that studies show 50% of schools banned phones all together in 2007, and by 2012, 98% of them did not permit phones on school property or demanded that students hand in their phones at the start of the day.
- The New York Times Bronx Science Bans Cellphones From Wi-Fi as Students Devour It