From Term 2 2020 all students in state schools will no longer be able to use their phone during the school day unless there are special circumstances.
Tasmanian School Psychology Association president Lesley Fraser said she was not sure the ban would solve issues surrounding technology use in schools.
"It's more complex than saying 'let's just stop kids using phones'," Ms Fraser said.
"In primary schools they don't need them. High school students need to learn how to manage their phones and not let them interfere with their learning so banning them completely doesn't let them do that.
"A lot of students have apps on their phone which are actually helpful for them during the day. A student with anxiety might have a mindfulness app for instance.
"However, from a social media point of view it does interfere with their learning and ability to be in the moment with their friends."
Ms Fraser said with students having easy access to laptops and smart watches banning phones will not necessarily prevent students from accessing social media during class time.
"That is why I think it's better to teach them how to manage it," she said.
"Maybe what will happen is that they are completely banned and then schools will gradually allow them in some lessons and at lunchtime perhaps.
"Policy-makers should draw on the knowledge of school psychologists because they understand the needs of students in terms of mental heath and social sites."
Under the new policy, a government spokesperson said all schools can decide that phones may be used:
- by students for whom a reasonable adjustment to a learning program is required because of disability and/or learning difficulty, for example students who need to access assistive technologies such as translation and text enlargement on their phones
- by students with health conditions, for example students with diabetes who manage their blood sugar levels using an app on their mobile phone
- by students who are young carers, for example students who are parents or have formal caring responsibilities for family members
- by students undertaking schools activities outside schools hours that are not on school campuses, such as camps
- where students have been given a direct instruction by a teacher to use their device for educational purposes
- where schools/colleges, in consultation with their School Association, opt out of the restrictions on students' use of mobile phones during the day for students in years 11 and 12, and
- by students experiencing extenuating circumstances other than the above where agreed by the principal.
Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby founder Kirsten Desmond said she welcomed the ban as long as the promised exemptions were in place for students who needed to use their phones.
"Where there is a requirement for someone to have it there will need to ensure the right language around it and that people understand it is what I would call a reasonable adjustment for that child," Ms Desmond said.
"Often what happens with adjustments for students with disabilities is the school will say they can't have it because that's not fair to everybody else.
"It's actually not about being fair. It's about having access to something that is important to them which will reduce barriers to their education."
Ms Desmond said students with disability, even more so than other students, can be subject to online bullying and anything that ensures that does not occur at school was a positive thing.
"Students not having access to their phones but rather concentrating on what is in front of them is a good thing," she said.