It's been four long years since La Gautrais Middle School in Ploasne, France banned the use of cell phones. Some expected a negative backlash, but the result has been positive.

The 290 teenage pupils have displayed "more social interaction, more empathy and a readiness to learn at the start of lessons." Students talk and play more at recess. They are active and engaged on field trips, rather than staring at screens. And they say they are closer to their friends as a result of conversing with each other. I wonder if they secretly pass tightly folded notes to each other during class?