Teens beware: South Korea trials app to remotely turn off students' smartphones

iSmartKeeper has government backing and lets teachers shut off specific apps, the capacity to text or lock down the entire mobile

For teachers in the most wired country in the world, dealing with smartphones in schools is a problem. Now, South Korean schools are taking back control with an app that lets them remotely disable students’ smartphones.

Classrooms across the country have been trialling the installation of an app named iSmartKeeper on phones. This gives teachers a range of controls over handsets, letting them lock students out of the advice entirely, block only calls and texts, and even disable specific apps.

The app can also utilize GPS geofencing so that certain restrictions come into place on smartphones as soon as students enter the school, or create schedules that unlock apps during break times and lunch before shutting them off for lessons.

The Verge reports that the app has been trialled in 11 schools to date in Seoul and nearby provinces. The results have been mixed with schools reporting that the geofencing sometimes continued after the student had left the school and that other children were able to circumvent the tools – surely a foreseeable problem in such a tech-savvy problem.

South Korea has always been proud of its well-developed tech culture but having the second-highest smartphone penetration in the world (73 per cent; second only to United Arab Emirate’s 73.8 per cent) has its drawbacks.

A study from the National Information Society Agency suggests that 18 per cent of the nation’s teens are addicted to their smartphones, meaning that they’re using them for more than seven hours each day and report symptoms such as anxiety and depression when separated from their gadgets.

The app is currently only available for Android devices (home brands like Samsung and LG give Google’s operating system a roughly 85 per cent market share in South Korea) but an iPhone version is reportedly in the works.

The app also has to be installed with the permission of the student’s parents but, as a bonus, the adults get to keep control over their offspring’s smartphone when they get home.  

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

    £350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Scientist

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Full Stack Software Developer - Javascript

    £18000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

    Tate Sensorium

    New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
    Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
    Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

    Remember Ashton Agar?

    The No 11 that nearly toppled England
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks