"The students use their mobile phones in various ways -- to surf the Internet and access social media, to listen to music, take photos, play games, and send text messages and photos," researchers at the University of Haifa reported Wednesday. "Based on our findings, there is almost no moment during any class when some pupil isn't using their cellphone."
The study included 591 pupils in grades 9-12 and 144 teachers of various subjects in three Jewish high schools.
Surprisingly, the researchers said, they found cellphone use was lower in classes with more permissive teachers than in classes where teacher imposed strict discipline.
"The potential damage stemming from heightened cellphone use during class casts a pall on the entire educational system, on the school atmosphere, on the educational achievements of the class, on the pupil's own learning experience and on the teacher's burnout having to cope with discipline problems in class," the researchers said.
The study found cellphones were used more frequently in humanities classes than in math and science classes, and cellphone use went down as the difficulty of the subject matter increased.