Helping students use smartphones responsibly

By Sasha Lekach, Chicago Tribune
August 17th, 2015

Rules for responsible smartphone use can vary by age and student

teens-smartphonesFor many tweens heading into middle school, the transition from elementary school won’t be marked only by new teachers, class schedules and locker assignments but also by a gleaming new phone.

Deciding whether a middle schooler is ready to take on mobile phone responsibility is a personal decision for each family. The device, whether smart or basic, brings up a host of questions and concerns from parents, especially as summer days turn into structured school days and packed after-school hours.

An April Pew Research Center study reported that 88 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds have or have access to some sort of phone; 73 percent have or have access to a smartphone. Those findings match up with the typical age for a student’s first phone: around 12 for a basic cellphone and older than 13 for a smartphone.

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