Teacher records 800 phone alerts for her students in course of a day

A West Virginia middle school teacher shared some startling results on social media after she decided to count the times students in her class received notifications on their phones during her class period.

Kathy West, a teacher in Poca, West Virginia, posted the results of her survey of notifications that the students in each of her six classes got during one school day.

According to West’s post, her students received 801 notifications between them, including texts, tweets, Snapchat and Instagram notifications.

West explained in her post how she conducted her survey.

“Every class period today (6 periods) I made my students put their phones on my table (some left phones in their lockers),” West wrote.

“At the end of class, we looked at their notifications. I didn’t read them, I just counted them.

"These are the notifications that my students got today in my class.

"Just my class.

"Not their other classes.

"Not lunch.

"Not any other time.Just my class.”

West included a photo of a tally of the notifications. Students in her classes received 506 texts, 198 Snapchat notifications, 28 Instagram notifications, 9 Facebook notifications, seven tweets and four notifications about news events. The students also watched 33 videos on YouTube and played 16 games.

West asked parents to imagine how many distractions students have in a day if there were 800 distractions in her class alone.

“Think about it,” West wrote. “How much of a distraction are these notifications to the students?

"Just think about it.

“If this is just my class.... what would it look like if all the classes were combined.”

West’s post has been shared 15,000 times, garnering nearly 2,000 comments on her Facebook page.

“What can they possibly be learning with all those distractions?” one commenter asked.

"Who on Earth is texting these kids 506 times when they’re in class and shouldn’t be contacted unless it’s an emergency?” one commenter wrote. “Seriously that’s just ridiculous! Your students must be really popular if that’s other kids. Parents know their kid’s schedule so shouldn’t contact them unless they’re on break or lunch. Don’t get started on Snapchat. It just shouldn’t exist. It and TikTok are the dumbest apps ever.”

One commenter shared a story from her pre-kindergarten class.

“ I teach PreK and I literally had a 4-year-old ask to take a break. Oh and look through his phone Child cannot even write his name or read and he can scroll through a phone like a teenager. Of course, I said, “Yes, you can take a break but, no you cannot look through your phone.” I held onto it until he got picked up."

Others questioned West’s calculations, saying that the notifications did not seem high considering she was adding them up for six classes of students

.“This is a very exaggerated way of presenting data,” one person wrote. “That’s every student for all six classes. Most teachers have much larger classes but let’s assume they’re lucky and only have 20 kids per class. That’s about four texts per student. If class only 40 min, that’s only one text every 10 min. Classes are probably closer to 30 students for an hour, that’s one text every 20 minutes. Maybe more than you want but not as bad as the pix makes it look.”

Another commenter answered that post by saying, “ Perhaps presented another way, from a purely statistical standpoint, its roughly 1 distraction every 30 seconds throughout the course of this educator’s day. That would make staying on topic and maintaining each student’s attention a very difficult process. Statistically of course.”

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