Education Work

At what age should students get a smartphone?

It’s the holiday season and many students are going to be unwrapping something they’ve been wanting for a very long time: a new smartphone. Whether it’s an iPhone, Android, or really any smartphone is not important. What IS important is knowing how to manage a student’s time and attention after he or she gets the time-sucking powerful mobile device.

See Also: Why apps and smartphones are the future for education

If you’re doing some last-minute shopping (it’s the week before Christmas at time of writing) and considering getting a smartphone for your children, check out this visual guide.from After School It might make you hold off a year or more.

Before you decide what age is appropriate, let’s first figure out the benefits of having a kid / student with a smartphone (or cell phone for that matter):


  • Students can use the smartphone (or cell phone) during emergencies and ask for help whenever needed.
  • Mobile phones are also able to get in touch using mobile apps like Skype and WhatsApp.
  • Students can easily communicate with teachers, school leaders, and parents with tools like ClassDojo and Remind.


  • Cyberbullying is a real problem. Letting a student have an always-on way for bullies to reach them can pose real problems.
  • It takes a parent, teacher, and others to help ensure the student is appropriately using the device. Ground rules must be set.
  • Kids can get distracted during pretty much anything. If you’re not careful, they’ll be less communicative than you ever thought possible.

smartphone age

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1 Comment
  • Jim Olsen Dec 20,2014 at 8:19 pm

    I found this very disappointing. I expected the answer to the question, “At what age should students get a smartphone?” to be based on an actual study of students who are successful and those who are not (‘successful’ would have to be defined – academically, socially, and well-adjusted). Instead you gave data based on current practice. Clearly the current practice is flawed. Parents do not know when to give/use cell phones.

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