The schools are changing policies or at least looking at changes in dealing with what once was seen as a disruption that now could boost instruction. Some teachers have encouraged students to use their phones for online research and assignments.
"We can spend all day chasing them down, telling (students) to put their phones away, or we can teach them," Mona Shores Public Schools Superintendent Dave Peden said. "We prefer to teach them."
Holton Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kennedy said that by allowing students to carry phones into class, schools have the opportunity to teach responsible use while reducing discipline. The district recently updated its policy to allow electronic mobile devices to be used in classrooms if teachers agree.
"Technology, whether we're talking about cellphones or any other technology, is a societal norm," Kennedy said. "I think we have a responsibility to teach the societal norm part of it."
Ravenna Public Schools currently allows use of phones before school and during lunch, but students can bring them to class if teachers request them. Superintendent John VanLoon said the policy is being enforced on an "individual basis."
"We need to update our policy," he said. "It's a little antiquated."