Across the country, the problem with phones is very apparent in an educational environment. As a teacher myself, I also feel the side effects of the phone issue that seems to be much bigger than it was even when I was at school 10 years ago.
Research has shown that the use of phones in a school environment has a negative impact on pupils' performance in school and in France there is now a law that bans the use of cell phones in schools.
Smartphones have become so feature rich that the use of phones is no longer just for sending texts or making phone calls, or even for listening to music, but also for other things such as browsing the web, chatting on instant messaging and more. From a teachers' point of view I see smartphones as one of the worst disruptions in the classroom, but also being a teacher of Computer Science I also see them as a valuable asset for certain lessons. The balance to allow children to use them whenever I want them to, however, is impossible to get right. Pupils generally assume that when you have permitted the use of smartphones for one part of the lesson it is okay to continue to use them throughout the lesson.
There aren't many feasable solutions to this problem that do not involve blocking the signals of these phones. Since blocking phone signals is technically not a legal solution, and since one Florida science teacher got suspended for attempting it, it's certainly not a feasable solution. The other issue with blocking is the range of the blocker. If it extends beyond the classroom it is intended for it might interfere with out devices.
The next solution is to have everyone put their phones on their desks.