LAS VEGAS (CelebrityAccess) Yondr is known as the device that locks phones away at concerts and now it has expanded into an entirely different market: high schools. Well, at least one high school, so far.
Sierra Vista High School in Las Vegas is phasing in phone-free classroom with the help of Yondr, which has only been around since 2014. Sierra Vista High School Principal John Anazlone recently went to see Chris Rock perform a standup and, much like acts Dave Chapelle do, uses Yondr to keep phones out of the performance. A phone is put into a Yondr case, which is locked. Guests can leave the theater and swipe the case to unlock it.
“Every month we have meetings where teachers come to me and every month it was the same thing: cellphones,” Anazlone told the Associated Press. “So I’m sitting there through the show and I’m so engaged. I’m not worried about who’s texting me, I’m not checking social media, I’m not chjecking basketball scores, and I look around and no one is recording the show.”
He pitched Yondr to teachers and bought five sets for a trial run.
“Within two weeks they were the hit of the school,” Anzalone told AP. “Several kids said, ‘I haven’t paid this much attention in class since the third grade.’ That gave me chills, because as a principal, this is my No. 1 job, to get students across the stage.”
The adjustment took days, he added. “They were shaky almost,” he said. “It really showed the addiction that these phones give to kids.”
Yondr is now in 20 classrooms at Sierra Vista and a Yondr representative told the AP that eight other high schools will begin testing the product this year.
“If you look at what a smartphone does, it’s difficult to resist,” Yondr CEO Graham Dugoni told the AP. “It’s hyper-visual stimulation and it’s hard not to look. Any tool you use all day every day, it’s definitely going to pattern your nervous system . People used to smoke on airplanes and now we go of course you can’t. Smartphones are really radically new, so how to deal with all the implications are (also) very new.”