British secondary school teachers lose 17.2 minutes of teaching time every day due to classroom disruptions caused by social media and smartphones - adding up to a staggering 11 days every year. Almost three-quarters of teachers believe that smartphones should be banned from the classroom entirely, according to research from Nominet, the internet firm that manages. UK domain names on the web. Worryingly, more than a quarter of teachers (27%) have witnessed social media cyber bullying in class, while 17% have seen pupils sharing explicit or pornographic content.
Half of the teachers say that issues that stem from social media use are contributing to their pupils achieving lower grades than they should. Some 58% of teachers have helped to educate their pupils on the issues surrounding the use of social media including privacy settings, messaging with strangers and their profile activity being seen by future employers and university, along with self-esteem issues. However, nearly a quarter (24%) believe that they don't have the right skills to address these concerns with pupils.
The long-term impact of social media is of particular concern and various studies have linked social media use with depression and low self-esteem. While the vast majority of schools - 83% - now have social media and smartphone policies in place, these are difficult to enforce and are often outdated as more social networks rapidly evolve.