Michael Lee is a digital photography teacher in Spokane, Washington. During the 2017 school year, Michael noticed his students entering class sooner than usual and editing their photos at a much faster pace than ever before.
He ultimately realized the kids were working quicker not because they were engaged in the work, but so they could get back to using their phones and spending time on social media.
The teacher was disheartened, but he became determined to make a change for the better.
“My overall goal was to give kids an opportunity to engage in what they’re doing,” Michael told KREM. “And that’s hard to do when every few seconds or few minutes there’s a beep on your phone and you have to check what it is.”
Michael began researching different ways to store cellphones and ended up purchasing a large phone cubby from Amazon. He then came up with a system for all of his students.
Each student is assigned a cubby number. At the start of every class, the students are required to place their phones inside their designated cubby, which also allows them to charge their phones for the duration of class.
It wasn’t long before Michael started seeing some pretty incredible results — and now other teachers from his school are feeling inspired to follow suit.