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Metro East teacher develops phone locker technology to battle distractions in classroom

Educators continued to battle the distraction of cellphones in the classroom, but one teacher may have a system to help.

Bill Henricks, a teacher in the Granite City School District, has developed a solution to help maintain the privacy of the student but cut back on the distraction they bring to the learning process.

Henricks founded Jordiam, a company that manufactures phone lockers, to help solve a problem he has seen in his own classroom.

The electronic storage device is designed with the student, teacher, administrator and parent/guardian in mind. The devices are clear and controlled remotely by the teacher by the push of a button. They can be mounted to any wall, desk or table.

Teens spend an average of seven hours and 22 minutes on their phones a day, kids ages 8 to 12, are not far behind, at four hours and 44 minutes daily, according to a report by Common Sense Media.

“After a case study I did during my classes, I found that students average around 100 notifications per 1.5 hour class. In a normal school day, they can average over 400 notifications. I like to call them “distractifications,” said Henricks. These notifications can pull focus from the learning process.

The phone lockers allow for the phones to be out of reach during instructional time but accessible when the proper time to retrieve or use phones arrives. There is no contact, touching or possession of phones by administrators or teachers since students can place the device in the locker and shut the door. The  teacher can release them with the press of a button. The process maintains the student’s privacy and keeps the phones secure from anything happening to them.

“The ultimate goal for teachers and administrators is to improve student outcomes. By separating students from their cell phones we are helping teach students soft skills and allow them to focus without distraction on their work,” Hendricks said.

Other cellphone holding devices are not made specifically for schools and do not provide the same safety and accessibility needed, he said.

Jordiam Phone Lockers come with a lifetime warranty.

The phone lockers are being implemented in schools throughout the St. Louis area.

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