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United Kingdom Cellphones Communications Stats Technology

One Third of UK Kids Under 10 Own a Mobile Phone 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the text-early-and-text-often dept.
hypnosec writes "Nearly everyone is aware of the influence of technology, specifically that of the new-generation telephonic devices on our society. But, when one in every 3 under-ten kids start having their own mobile phones, only then we come to realize how deep rooted the influence really is — yes, that's what a new report claims. According to the latest findings by the cloud security outfit Westcoastcloud, near about 33 percent of all UK's under-ten kids are currently in possession of a mobile phone."
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One Third of UK Kids Under 10 Own a Mobile Phone

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  • If only my kids idiot school would stop confiscating the damn things they might be useful.

    • If only you'd talk to someone in charge at the school about this policy... possibly with some of the other parents in the same situation...?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 23, 2011 @03:41AM (#37488640)

      Useful for what? Why does a child need their own telephone?

      • So we can charge them for trinkets directly on their phone bills, since they don't have their own credit cards.
      • by jonbryce (703250)

        So they can call for help if they have problems getting home. Very useful in more rural areas. My local primary school is about 200 meters away, so perhaps not so useful in a large town.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Not useful in a large town where there's a 200 meter walk and adults in the area, but useful in a rural area where 9 and 10 year olds can be abandoned to walk home by themselves over long distances with few passing adults to assist should they get into trouble? So what you're saying is that mobile phones are being substituted for parental responsibilty?

          • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday September 23, 2011 @05:50AM (#37489110) Journal

            In rural areas, at least where I grew up in the UK, it was quite common for children to get a school bus to and from a school in the city, or to car-share and get a lift with another parent. Sometimes, there are problems with this. For example, my school bus left over half an hour after the end of school, from about 10 minutes walk away from the school. If I missed it, but didn't realise, I wouldn't get back to the school until about an hour after school finished, at which point there may not be any teachers around. There was a phone box on school, so I had a phone card that I could use to call home in the case of any problems.

            The first time I used the school bus, I managed to get on the wrong one. I noticed when it got on the motorway, which definitely wasn't on my way home. I got off at the services, found a payphone and called home, but if I'd had a mobile then I'd have been able to call home from the bus and check where the best place to get off was.

            And, on a more prosaic level, having a mobile phone later (I got mine when I was 16, which was when cheap pre-pay ones started to appear), it was useful to be able to call my parents if some after-school activity was cancelled, or something else happened that required me to leave school at a different time, such as when one of my close friends was killed in a car accident, or when I was coopted to the debate team at the last minute before a competition.

            • by dcw3 (649211)

              it was useful to be able to call my parents if some after-school activity was cancelled, or something else happened that required me to leave school at a different time, such as when one of my close friends was killed in a car accident, or when I was coopted to the debate team at the last minute before a competition.

              Even my schools back in the 60s and 70s had landlines that could be used by the students. My daughter's schools (she graduated just a couple yrs ago), had phones in the office that could be used. Certainly not as convenient, but I still see no reason a young child should need a cellphone. Most of the kids are just texting each other when they should be paying attention during class.

              • Even my schools back in the 60s and 70s had landlines that could be used by the students. My daughter's schools (she graduated just a couple yrs ago), had phones in the office that could be used.

                In the 90's, at my high-school, the office was closed after school hours. If one didn't have money for a payphone, there were no phones a student could use. My only option, on more than one occasion, was to call collect. With payphones quickly disappearing, I'm not even sure if that's an option anymore.

                I appreciate you're pragmatism. But your personal situation is not universal.

              • by Tharsman (1364603)

                If missing the bus and noticing too late after no one was in school, or getting into the wrong one and arriving to an entirely inknown place are not good enough reason for you, then I hope you are not a parent, or that your town is stuck in the 80s with pay phones in every corner and your kid hangs out with a pocket full of quarters.

              • The high school I graduated from had no payphones and the office was closed after hours. If you got into a situation in which you couldn't get to the office in time, you would have been out of luck without a cell phone.

            • by tehcyder (746570)

              And, on a more prosaic level, having a mobile phone later (I got mine when I was 16, which was when cheap pre-pay ones started to appear), it was useful to be able to call my parents if some after-school activity was cancelled, or something else happened that required me to leave school at a different time, such as when one of my close friends was killed in a car accident, or when I was coopted to the debate team at the last minute before a competition.

              What, your school seriously wouldn't let you or a teacher ring home to say that one of your close friends had been killed in a car accident? Did you go to some special Dotheboys Hall throwback school?

              • What, your school seriously wouldn't let you or a teacher ring home to say that one of your close friends had been killed in a car accident?

                They probably would have done, but in a year group of over 100 there would have been a very long queue for the phone. Fortunately, I had a mobile so I didn't need to find out.

          • by jonbryce (703250)

            If the school is more than 3 miles away (2 miles for under 8s), or if there is no safe walking route (eg rural roads with no pavement [en-US: sidewalk]), then they would get a school bus, or if it is an extremely rural area, a shared taxi.

            • by digitig (1056110)

              If the school is more than 3 miles away (2 miles for under 8s), or if there is no safe walking route (eg rural roads with no pavement [en-US: sidewalk]), then they would get a school bus, or if it is an extremely rural area, a shared taxi.

              Good luck with that -- we spent an age fighting our local authority over that (more than 3 miles to the school -- this was in an urban area, but my son has special educational needs and our nearby schools didn't have the facilities that the local authority agreed he needed). We never did get the transport.

            • by todrules (882424)
              Yeah, but then for some reason, the schools love to give out detention, which doesn't let out until after all the buses have left. And, in this day and age, where both parents usually have to work, then the kid is usually left to find their own ride home.
              • A shame they can't do a detention without the parents knowing first, as they have to give them a 24 hour written notice.

                http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1997/44/section/5 [legislation.gov.uk]

                (3), (d)the pupil’s parent must have been given at least 24 hours’ notice in writing that the detention was due to take place.

                But as for transportation home,

                (4)In determining for the purposes of subsection (3)(c) whether a pupil’s detention is reasonable, the following matters in particular shall be taken into account— ....

                (b)any special circumstances relevant to its imposition on the pupil which are known to the person imposing it (or of which he ought reasonably to be aware) including in particular— .....

                (iv)where arrangements have to be made for him to travel from the school to his home, whether suitable alternative arrangements can reasonably be made by his parent.

                • by todrules (882424)
                  That is a good law, but it's for the UK. The US, at least the school districts I went to, don't have laws like this. The parents aren't informed, and the teachers could care less if you have to walk 10 miles to get home because you missed your bus.
                • While this makes sense, it wasn't at all in place when I had detention. I was held for the unholy offense of not calling my teacher "ma'am." This was in the early 2000s in Alabama in the public school system.

              • by tehcyder (746570)

                Yeah, but then for some reason, the schools love to give out detention, which doesn't let out until after all the buses have left. And, in this day and age, where both parents usually have to work, then the kid is usually left to find their own ride home.

                And, in the UK, at least, they have to give you advance warning of any detention which you sign to authorise.

          • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

            Parental responsibility means teaching your kids to take care of themselves, and also to make sure they get healthy habits, such as walking instead of driving when they need to travel short distances. In the last few decades, there has been a trend in a few western countries of driving kids everywhere and forbidding them to play outside unsupervised. In those same countries, child and young adult obesity rates have exploded. Coincidence?

            Letting 9-year-old kids walk home from school on their own was the safe

        • by mlush (620447)

          So they can call for help if they have problems getting home. Very useful in more rural areas. My local primary school is about 200 meters away, so perhaps not so useful in a large town.

          This. Our boy has had one since he was 10 but didn't use it much till he went to secondary school.

          Has locked himself out twice (second time he phoned to ask where the spare key was hidden:-). He hasn't missed the school bus yet but its only a matter of time, Coming back from school trips to say when he's actually getting back as a pose to when he's scheduled to get back. If we get separated (deliberately on not) in town its useful to reorganize a meet-up point.

          This is not helicopter parenting, its j

          • by tehcyder (746570)
            It's different when you're talking about secondary school age kids, they obviously have a much greater degree of freedom, and do a lot of stuff after school/after dark or whatever.

            TFA is talking about under-10s who as a rule aren't expected to be out and about on their own much. I know on slashdot eveyone grew up wild and free like Huckleberry Finn, but in reality you'd get some odd looks and possibly a talking to from the school if you let a six or seven year old walk home from school on their own alo
      • Useful for what? Why does a child need their own telephone?

        Why do you need your own telephone? (hint: you don't)

        It's useful for communication. You know, that thing everyone does.

        • by dcw3 (649211)

          Useful for what? Why does a child need their own telephone?

          Why do you need your own telephone? (hint: you don't)

          It's useful for communication. You know, that thing everyone does.

          Yes, so we can text during class, and send each other answers during the tests. Seriously, there is no reason a young child needs a cellphone at school. Land lines are (still) available in every office for emergencies, changes in plans for after school, etc.

          • Yes, so we can text during class, and send each other answers during the tests. Seriously, there is no reason a young child needs a cellphone at school. Land lines are (still) available in every office for emergencies, changes in plans for after school, etc.

            What about out of school? When they're walking to/from school? When they're with friends, on a weekend? No, they don't *need* it, but that's not the point, nobody in the developed world *needs* a mobile phone, since there are payphones and landlines.

            • nobody in the developed world *needs* a mobile phone, since there are payphones and landlines.

              The birth of the mobile phone era has killed payphones. I'm sure they're still there in a few places, but most of them have been removed. Businesses still have land lines, but homes increasingly don't.

            • by genner (694963)

              Yes, so we can text during class, and send each other answers during the tests. Seriously, there is no reason a young child needs a cellphone at school. Land lines are (still) available in every office for emergencies, changes in plans for after school, etc.

              What about out of school? When they're walking to/from school? When they're with friends, on a weekend? No, they don't *need* it, but that's not the point, nobody in the developed world *needs* a mobile phone, since there are payphones and landlines.

              What's a payphone?

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          I need my telephone because without it I would not be able to have the job I have. And without a job I wouldn't be able to pay for my food and shelter.

          Not sure I could live under a bridge and on government handouts or I could get a lower paid job and live somewhere else/eat differently, but the word need in that original context doesn't mean "absolutely required for life" it's just a little broader. Yes, the English language is sloppy.

          • OK, fair enough. But most people *don't* use their phone for their job. The vast majority of mobile phones are for personal use. I have a mobile phone, but in no definition of the word do I "need" one. I still find it damn useful though, and so do children for much of the same reasons.

            • by tepples (727027)

              But most people *don't* use their phone for their job.

              They might use it when seeking a job. Anybody waiting for an interviewer to return a call needs a phone in order to receive that call.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Useful for what? Why does a child need their own telephone?

          Why do you need your own telephone? (hint: you don't)

          It's useful for communication. You know, that thing everyone does.

          Great argument, in that case every seven year old should have a fucking job, house and car too (hint: they're children, not adults).

      • by muindaur (925372)

        My high school had a payphone, and so did my grammar school. Those are now gone. So if I had a kid they would need one to call in for a ride home should they walk across to the library to do research after school. I had a payphone that I could always use, but those days are gone in most areas: if not all. I used the payphone numerous times from:

        1) Missing the bus (running to the locker, and then to the bus as it decides to leave in less than the ten less it's supposed to wait.)
        2) Walking over to the town li

      • by zmooc (33175)

        This may be new to you, but some children actually happen to have a social life. Much of which nowadays inevitably happens online. No facebook/twitter/whatever will mean missing out for an ever increasing number of children.

        Also, children need to travel from home to school and back again, often by foot or by bike. How are they going to find the 10 minute timeslot in which they can get there without raining wet when they don't have a phone?! How are they going to call mom to discuss whether they can go play

        • by dcw3 (649211)

          Okay, kids have always had a social life, and that's great. What they don't need is for that life to be interfering with getting an education. What they don't need is another distraction in the classroom. What they don't need is another source of cheating available to them.

          I'm not opposed to kids having them at school. I'm opposed to them in class...keep them in your locker, or have them confiscated.

          • by AJH16 (940784)

            What you are talking about isn't a problem with the technology but a problem with personal responsibility that nobody wants to teach their kids anymore. As a perfect example, my elementary, middle and high schools had a very similar philosophy when it came to the school computers and had then locked down a bunch to "prevent distraction." You know what, it had a severe negative effect on my ability to get what I needed to do done, so I, as a responsible student, bypassed the security measures they had put

        • by geekmux (1040042)

          This may be new to you, but some children actually happen to have a social life. Much of which nowadays inevitably happens online. No facebook/twitter/whatever will mean missing out for an ever increasing number of children.

          Also, children need to travel from home to school and back again, often by foot or by bike. How are they going to find the 10 minute timeslot in which they can get there without raining wet when they don't have a phone?! How are they going to call mom to discuss whether they can go play with a friend? How are they going to send in their homework? On paper? LOL. And how are they going to post on slashdot without a phone? Wait until they get home? Sounds kind of 1996ish to me.

          That's why children need telephones as well. Simply being young does not mean their needs are that much different from us or they have no right to fulfill those needs with the same technology us adults use for it.

          And, no, I'm not talking out of my ass. I'm a dad myself and am not going to accept my children missing out just due to some irrational opinions or incompetent schools.

          This may be new to you, but MOST children actually abuse the living shit out of their "social life" and the electronic gadgets that are used to manipulate that environment, causing everything from personal distraction to all out mass interference and manipulation when somethings goes "viral" in school.

          That thing we call "school" has a purpose. And contrary to popular belief, it's primary focus is not centered around "facebook/twitter/whatever", so needless to say, cell phones are not at the top of the prio

      • Useful for what? Why does a child need their own telephone?

        Because my ex wife and son's mother is a diagnosed sociopath with a felony record who has a absolute belief that only she can care for our child despite the fact that the state has told her otherwise. I would like my son to be able to call 911 and/or me if he even sees a hint that her car's waiting for him in the parking lot of the school. Again.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Useful for what? Why does a child need their own telephone?

          Because my ex wife and son's mother is a diagnosed sociopath with a felony record who has a absolute belief that only she can care for our child despite the fact that the state has told her otherwise. I would like my son to be able to call 911 and/or me if he even sees a hint that her car's waiting for him in the parking lot of the school. Again.

          The correct response in that situation would be for your son to find an adult immediately, not waste time ringing you when you are presumably not within a few seconds of being able to help him.

          Although I agree I would give him a phone too in those circumstances, they are thankfully somewhat of an outlier.

    • by stephanruby (542433) on Friday September 23, 2011 @03:44AM (#37488658)

      Pay the premium. Get your kid a Disney phone. Disable all its functions, but the one that calls you (and other emergency numbers), or the one that allows you to track him down through gps. Then, it's very unlikely that your kid will be playing games in class, or texting in class, for him to get it confiscated in the first place.

      • (disclaimer: not a UK teacher, but a UK university educational researcher who has worked on projects in schools)

        You make a fair summary about the kind of things that teachers don't want children using their phones for in class. They are in class to participate in the lesson, not for texting friends or playing games. But it's not feasible for teachers to track each student's phone type and functionality, much too time consuming. I don't know where you are writing from but in the UK the school time table does

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          But it's not feasible for teachers to track each student's phone type and functionality, much too time consuming.

          You misunderstood the point of the parent. If the phone is supplied for duress and is set up in a way that ONLY the duress call can be made the kid won't be texting in class as they can't. The phone will likely stay in the bag, if not for anything but shame, and thus would be unlikely to get confiscated in class.

          • by Joce640k (829181)

            If the phone is supplied for duress and is set up in a way that ONLY the duress call can be made the kid won't be texting in class as they can't. The phone will likely stay in the bag, if not for anything but shame

            Much easier: Get an old, black-and-white-text-only phone. That will definitely stay hidden in the bag except for emergencies. Won't run out of battery, either.

      • If you give a child a phone that is only useful for calling Mummy and Daddy, then they won't bother to keep it on them, they won't care where it is, they won't bother charging it and they'll lose it/break it in very short order, because it's just not an object they will care about protecting.

        The way to make sure a child keeps their phone charged and about their person is to let them USE it.
      • by Gonoff (88518)

        My son has had a phone since he went to secondary school at 11. He knew, right from the start, that he needed to turn it off during lessons. he saw that people who didn't would get them confiscated.

        Why did he have one? At that age, he was old enough to go and play football in the park (a mile away) with his friends. This made it possible for him as we could call him when necessary - meals, homework, bedtime, Doctor Who etc.He could contact his friends and have a social life as well as phone us to say he

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In my school days yo-yos were banned, then magnifying glasses ( after one too many summer Sun-focusing experiments ) and finally Game Boys. Fair enough.

      School is a place for education, not entertainment. Can't the kids wait until they are home to text their friends, whom they last saw one hour previously anyhow?

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        I took a lot of tests in elementary and high school. Some of the big stand-outs were the SATs and the GEPA [wikipedia.org] in my (young) memory - I took them in 7th and 8th grade respectively. Here's how they (and damn near every prior and subsequent test) went for me:

        1) 40 minutes to complete section.

        2) Complete section in 20 minutes.

        3) Spend 3-4 minutes double-checking my work, even though I never made a change.

        4) Sit on my ass for 15-20 additional minutes doing nothing.

        5) Repeat for every test section until the test is

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          The system encourages everybody to slow down and hurts the people who have the capability to excel.

          Bullshit, in any real world job I've ever had there are always more things to do than time in the day, and once you get really good at everything you get promoted or move to a more demanding job.

          Being bored at school is good prepaation for working life anyway, it's almost entirely a waste of your time, energy and talents. And the only thing worse than being bored at work is enjoying your work: at that point, you have lost your soul.

      • School is a place for education, not entertainment.

        No. "Entertainment" is an important part of socialization, which is an important part of school.

        Now, they don't really need a cellphone for entertainment. But let's not go overboard here.

      • School is a place for education, not entertainment

        If you think that these are totally disjoint, then I hope you don't work in education. And I'm very glad I'm not you - you must lead a very depressing life.

      • When I was at school the bans were pogs, conkers, yoyos, card games (First individually - pokemon, digimon, yugioh - and then just a blanket ban to have keeping track of them) and chess. The latter due to a series of games turning violent in accusations of cheating.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I suppose that is one of those idiot schools that wants the attention of its pupils and would rather lessons are not interrupted by the continual "text update" or "facebook status change" ring tone...

      My wife's schools takes phones off students and keeps them in the secretary's office - she fetches the children should a parent ring up with something that's important.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Many years ago I was one of the few carrying a PDA to every class - a Psion Series 3a.

      I had it confiscated once: for using the internal speaker to stand to the British national anthem when my Scottish Latin teacher went on another of his hilarious anti-English tirades. He deserved it. I deserved it.

      But as long as I only used it for schoolwork while in the classroom, everyone was happy.

      Do kids at your school only use their 'phones for schoolwork while in the classroom?

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        That's how it should be - confiscated when it's used inappropriately and/or being disruptive to either you or your classmates' learning experience.

        As for the Scottish teacher, well, you guys do have that whole past few centuries of dicking over other countries. I can sorta understand how he might still be a bit mad about that. That's inter-generational anger right there.

        • Yeah, much of what he said was entirely warranted. His speech on English false modesty stuck with me more than anything. But I cursed myself for not having had the prescience to set up a timed launch of The Skye Boat Song.

          He's a monk now... sometimes I wish I were too.

          • by Gordonjcp (186804)

            As a matter of interest, what was his name? I think Imight know him...

            • Brucey, except to his face.

              But you're not in the only Blue Book I can still find, so either we're not contemporaneous or there's more than one monastic Scottish Latin teacher angry at the English :-).

    • by MacTO (1161105) on Friday September 23, 2011 @04:40AM (#37488860)

      Those policies exist for a number of reasons, and cover a variety of electronic devices:

      1) Schools don't want to be held accountable for lost, stolen, or broken devices. And yes, parents blame the school when that happens.

      2) Teachers don't want to deal with distracted children. Incidentally, this was true 50 years ago when kids weren't allowed to bring toys into class.

      3) These contraptions are a source of bullying in a multitude of ways, ranging from theft to provoking and photographing/recording fights.

      Just because you don't understand why policies exist doesn't mean that the school is an "idiot",

      • by zmooc (33175)

        The reasons are crap. I won't even start to explain why the first one is crap, that should be plain obvious.

        The second is crap since it is perfectly doable to require children to put their phones on silent mode or to keep them in their locker during classes. The school should teach them the discipline to do that. They will carry phones for the rest of their lives and will have to deal with it no matter what. Distractions have always been around and teachers have always dealt with them. Stealing things (yes,

    • My children's school has a hand-it-in-at-reception-on-arrival policy. They hand it in when they arrive, they retrieve it when they leave. This seems entirely reasonable to me, since many of the year 6 pupils walk to and from school by themselves, and thus might legitimately need to carry a phone.
    • I'm employed at one of those schools that confiscates mobile phones on sight. We have to, because those things are incredibly distracting. Which do you think students would rather pay attention to: The teacher lecturing them about the history of world war one, or Angry Birds on the phone under the table? Then you get the gossiping, the potential bullying, etc. That's why we ban phones. But it's not an unreasonable ban: The students are still permitted to bring phones for the journey to and from school, so l
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      If only my kids idiot school would stop confiscating the damn things they might be useful.

      So is it just your kids who should be alloed to break school rules, or is it OK for eveyone?

  • There's nothing more significant about owning a "mobile phone" than having a walkie-talkie and a scientifig calculator... Internet access on dumb phones is so crippled that it doesn't matter.

    What's going to be interesting is when a large number of kids have SMART phones, ie. full web access, networked applications, etc. Then you very nearly have a full computer in your hands, and information always at your fingertips. But the dumb phones parents are likely to give their children don't have this effect at

    • .But the dumb phones parents are likely to give their children don't have this effect at all... they pretty much just make phone calls, and run trivial and useless toy apps.

      Yeah, my under-10 daughter has a phone on a pay-per-minute PagePlus plan ( a few bucks a month) and she only has it for emergency use. It's a cheap folder with keyboard, so she can text if she needs to (i.e. walking in the woods with poor signal) but she's paying me the full 25 cents per superfluous text, so she doesn't.

      I've had 11-year

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      You can get the Orange Rio for about £50 on pay as you go. A feature phone rather than a smart phone, but it does have GPRS internet access.

  • by sarabob (544622) on Friday September 23, 2011 @04:15AM (#37488758)

    The source says 'children as young as four' have mobiles, meaning that 55% of all 4-9 year olds must have a mobile in order for the "33% of under tens" to be true

    One-third of 8-10 year olds I can believe (most people I know are getting their kids phones when they start secondary school at 10-11), but 55% of 4-9 less so.

    • Yes, we got our 11 year old a mobile when he started at secondary school. But there is a difference between "has a mobile" and "uses a mobile". His phone stays in his bag, turned off, mostly. In fact, he didn't really want a phone, since he sees his friends all the time anyway. So really it is only there for his parents' peace of mind "in case of emergency".
  • The limit in my family is ten - you get a mobile for your tenth birthday. Of course, then my father-in-law comes along and gives my daughter a 600 Euro phone, which she promptly loses on the street in the week after that, but that stuff just serves to teach my father-in-law about the nature of my kids. I give them phones, but I'm not stupid: I give them cheap and simple phones.

  • by yacc143 (975862) on Friday September 23, 2011 @04:21AM (#37488798) Homepage

    In other news the sun raises usually somewhere in the east.

    What are mobiles useful for kids? Coordinate with their parents. E.g. call parents after school, I'm meeting now friend X. Or I'm stuck there and there, could you please come pick me up [happened when our daughter used first public transport to get to school], please hurry today after school home, we've got a doctor's appointment, Hi kid, we are out doing XY, don't wonder if nobody is home, we'll be home in an hour.

    That's probably why even kids from poor families/single parent households have mobiles usually in primary school here around, because these are that need usually the most coordination to manage the day.

    Now, for a 10 years old, some mobile will not do, the minimum is a low end Android, with a surprising number of kids carrying high end Androids and iPhones 4, at least at the school of my daughter. (And no it's not private run for rich people, it's just a normal state-run middle school, despite being called Junior Highschool) OTOH, the Galaxy SII is cool enough that I managed to wean my daughter of the evil products of the iFruit salad company.

    Considering confiscations, her school has a very pragmatic approach, phones are to be turned off and left in the locker in the morning and are turned on again when leaving the school. That serves quite well the coordination thing => one can call the school if something needs immediate action during the day, all other coordination can be sent via SMS, hence the kid gets the message when it turns on the phone, ... Naturally that does not work everywhere, because it assumes that each kid has his own safe locker.

    • by Inda (580031)
      Coordinating with parents has caused its own problems with my daughter and her friends. They're at the age where they walk to school on their own but are not old enough to leave the local area on bus.

      Every single minor problem results in a phone call to us. They panic when someone cries. A grazed knee seems like a broken leg. Back in my day (GOML), dealing with these issues gave independence.

      Credit is king, not Android or Blackberry. It doesn't matter what phone you have if you haven't got minutes. Chores f
  • by lucm (889690) on Friday September 23, 2011 @04:33AM (#37488832)

    > The extent to which today's youngsters rely on technology was revealed following a study of 2,000 parents of children aged ten and under.

    From this study they draw conclusions like the 1/3 nonsense in the headline. Incredibly accurate.

    > Broadband providers in the UK may be forced to offer parents ways of protecting their children from harmful online content as part of a new Communications Act.
    [...]
    > Westcoastcloud has just released its internet security product Netintelligence as an App on iTunes for use in schools and will be releasing a home-use version later this year.

    Now this whole thing makes sense. This is not about statistics, this is about marketing.

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      Cellphone providers already block "inappropriate" sites. You either need to pay them to remove the block or VPN back home to get round it.

      • by yacc143 (975862)

        Well, the only "provider" that does this here would by McDonalds WLAN, but lucky for them, you can just switch to Google-Mobile view, and they don't catch that at all :)

    • by foobsr (693224)

      This is not about statistics, this is about marketing.

      These days, almost everything is about marketing (except for probably very small scale relations/communications).

      If you generalize even more, you might argue that everything is about upstream transfer of 'wealth'.

      CC.

  • by Kagetsuki (1620613) on Friday September 23, 2011 @05:30AM (#37489024)

    We have cell phones specifically for children.
    http://www.au.kddi.com/seihin/ichiran/kishu/mamorino/index.html [kddi.com]

    If you pull the tab an alarm goes off. The Phone has 24/7 tracking, and it's one touch to call parents. Service isn't expensive either, certainly reasonable for worried parents. Above that are a whole selection of cell phones with features specifically tailored to children of specific age ranges and services are tailored to them so parents can do things like block features or put limits on things - but inter family communication is always free and always-on remote location tracking is on every model.

    I guess they don't have the same phones and services in the UK?

    • by crossmr (957846)

      Same in Korea. Every kid in grade 1 and up have a phone around their neck. Mostly for tracking.

  • If I remember correctly, more than one in three kids used to have a Game Boy at my school. What's the difference?

  • This is bad why?

    Its a way for you to keep direct contact with your kid wherever he may be. It's extremely easy to monitor its usage and to add most phones provide gps tracking to always know we're they may be.

    I keep seeing people shocked about this trend and I just don't get it. Don't THEY feel paranoid if their kids happen to be in an unreachable situation?

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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