Need an easy way to manage mobile devices in the classroom? Try the Traffic Light Approach!
The Traffic Light Approach breaks down mobile device usage in the classroom into three manageable components:
Students must have their mobile phones and other electronic devices completely put away. Any visibility of these devices will incur consequences as designated by school behaviour policies. This light is useful for test-taking, and other situations where you want student attention to be completely focused on the task at hand.
Students may have their mobile devices out as long as they are being used for educational purposes. Any misuse or inappropriate behaviour will result in consequences as outlined in school behaviour policies. This light is useful when students are doing independent research, and other situations where mobile devices may prove to be a useful resource.
Students must have their mobile devices out for a classroom activity. Any misuse or inappropriate behaviour will result in consequences as outlined in school behaviour policies. This light is intended for situations in which the teacher is leading students in an activity that utilises mobile devices, and other situations where devices are necessary to participate.
Here is a handy link to an Interactive Traffic Light to help you indicate the level of mobile device use:
Adapted from the original article, “Classroom Management of Mobile Devices: The Traffic Signal Approach” by Aditi Rao
Click on the link below for a downloadable poster ready for printing from Common Sense Education – this has a printable arrow to peg onto the poster for the teacher to indicate permitted usage of mobile devices, as well as space on the poster for adding groups/names to differentiate at different times. And the notes also include discussion starters to support adapting to needs of a particular class.