Tasmanian parents and educators would support restrictions of smartphone use in schools after prominent child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg called for a ban on personal devices in classrooms.
Dr Carr-Gregg attend the Resilient Kids Conference on March 23, which is coming to Launceston for the first time.
He has just completed a six-month independent inquiry into non-educational smartphone use in NSW government schools, with the report making 11 recommendations on restriction and education for students.
One of the major recommendations was to restrict access of personal smartphones for primary school pupils, having them put the devices away in a safe place during class time.
"I believe that smartphones should be banned in primary schools and I would call on the Tasmanian Government to look at the results of the NSW inquiry," Dr Carr-Gregg said.
A survey published on The Examiner's website showed 90 per cent of respondents supported restriction of smartphone devices in Tasmanian schools.
"I see no problem with the children having to 'hand in' or place their phones in a secure location at the beginning of school," one respondent said.
"Allow access at recess and lunch to answer any parental-related calls and then have their phones handed back or collected at the end of school. Maybe a ticket system, so the phones aren't mixed up."
In Tasmania, the Education Department has a "bring your own device" policy that allows students to possess an internet-capable device, be that a smartphone, laptop or tablet, in class to assist with learning.
However, there is no overarching policy to direct or manage smartphone or mobile phone use in schools.
An Education Department spokesman said it was "considering the report and its recommendations" but any proposed changes to policy would need to be done with school consultation.
Another respondent to The Examiner's survey said mobile phones were a tool that children would use throughout their lives, so it was important they had access to them to connect with parents and carers.
However, others stated there were no benefits to smartphone use for young people and they proved to be distractions and a cyberbullying risk.
By the time of writing, the survey had received 31 responses.
Dr Carr-Gregg has worked in the areas of health psychology, bullying, parenting adolescents and adolescent mental health. He also founded the National Coalition against Bullying and is a national spokesman.
Cyber safety has been identified as a priority for the Education Department for 2019 under the recently released Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy.
However, there is no specific mention of smartphone or mobile phone use in the policy.
"With the growth of social media and technology, participation can take on new meaning and provide options for learners who have struggled to engage and participate in the past. However, with this opportunity comes challenges to ensure cyber safety and to protect learners from the misuse of social media," the strategy said.
While you’re with us, did you know you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates direct to your inbox? Sign up here.