What teachers need to know...

School Mode - Frequently Asked Questions.

Keeping kids safe on the way to school – and focused in school

Everyone wants to create a safe, learning-focused environment for students – that’s why many schools are banning mobile phones that distract from classwork and might even enable bullying.

We designed the SPACETALK smartwatch phone specifically to address these issues, with no camera or internet – and none of the distractions created by smartphones and smartwatches designed for adults.

The following Q&A for Primary School Educators answers your questions about School Mode, a unique feature that transforms SPACETALK into a simple wristwatch during school hours.

We hope this information will enable you to have an informed discussion with parents about shared responsibility for child safety and the appropriate use of technology in schools.

School Resources

Below you can view and download the results of our Parent Mobile Phone Ban Survey, an information leaflet on School Mode for your front office and teaching staff, and an A2 colour poster for the office wall.

School Mode
Teachers' FAQs

What teachers need to know...

School Mode - Frequently Asked Questions

What parents need to
know...

School Mode - Frequently Asked Questions

Keeping kids safe on the way to school – and focused in school

Everyone wants to create a safe, learning-focused environment for students – that’s why many schools are banning mobile phones that distract from classwork and might even enable bullying.

We designed the SPACETALK smartwatch phone specifically to address these issues, with no camera or internet – and none of the distractions created by smartphones and smartwatches designed for adults.

The following Q&A for Primary School Educators answers your questions about School Mode, a unique feature that transforms SPACETALK into a simple wristwatch during school hours.

We hope this information will enable you to have an informed discussion with parents about shared responsibility for child safety and the appropriate use of technology in schools.

School Resources

Below you can view and download the results of our Parent Mobile Phone Ban Survey, an information leaflet on School Mode for your front office and teaching staff, and an A2 colour poster for the office wall.

Primary School Teachers' Questions Answered

What is SPACETALK?

SPACETALK is child safety device specifically developed in Australia with schools in mind. It incorporates a smart watch, phone, SOS function and GPS locator in a wristwatch sized device. Essential for school use, it also incorporates ‘School Mode’ to make it safe and distraction-free during school hours.

How does School Mode work?

Parents use the watch’s guardian app to disable functions during school hours, typically incoming and outgoing calls, messaging, step counter, location and stopwatch.

In School Mode, SPACETALK becomes a simple wristwatch, without distracting the child or disturbing classroom activities.

How do I know when SPACETALK is in School Mode?

Teachers can see that SPACETALK is in School Mode instantly by looking at the screen – you will see two pencils side by side on the watch face.

Why do children need SPACETALK at school?

SPACETALK is currently used by thousands of Australian parents who want to provide their younger children with independence but still know that they are safe.

Feedback from parents shows that wearing SPACETALK reduces anxiety for both children and parents, especially if the child has a medical condition.

Rather than interrupting busy school staff, parents can message a child directly, for instance with a change of plan for school pickup.

Today’s parents are very tech-savvy and busy – SPACETALK is a natural fit with their lifestyle, without exposing their children to the risk of an internet-connected mobile phone. As a bonus, parents also tell us they can now allow their children the freedom to walk or cycle to school.

Isn’t SPACETALK just like a mobile phone?

Mobile phones are not safe for younger children to use as they expose the child to many risks, which have been identified by the researchers who initiated the mobile phone bans*.

SPACETALK has none of these risks: no internet, apps, social media or camera – meaning the device does not enable bullying, unwanted contact or sharing inappropriate contact.

Unlike a mobile phone, children have no control over the features – SPACETALK gives the parent complete control over the device and who can contact their child.

* Interestingly, the same child psychologist who led the report which prompted the ban – Dr Michael Carr-Gregg – has suggested schools implement a “dumbphone” policy, allowing phones without cameras or internet access to provide communication between students and caregivers.

How can I, as a teacher, manage this issue? All smart devices are included in our phone ban.

If your school has implemented a policy of ‘no smart devices’, it is likely that the decision was made to protect children and avoid classroom distraction. SPACETALK is a new category that allows the device to be worn as a wristwatch during school hours, yet immediately after school the parent can contact their child.

The way other schools are handling this is to make it clear in newsletters which devices have been banned, such as earbuds and smart phones. When referring to smart watches they have told parents:

If your child wears a smart watch & phone to school, you must provide a guarantee that it will be switched to ‘School Mode’ to disable all functions except the wristwatch during school hours.

How can a smart device prevent bullying?

The eSafety Commission reports that both bullying and cyber bullying are on the rise, with a concurrent increase in children reporting stress and mental health issues.

Facebook is viewed by parents as the worst social media enabler of bullying, followed by Snapchat and Instagram, according to our recent Parent Survey (link to Survey). SPACETALK removes the ability for children to be attacked online by removing access to all apps and the Internet. But more than that, SPACETALK also makes it easy for children to report to a trusted contact list if they are being bullied – before it becomes a chronic issue.

Children can only make and receive messages from the parent-controlled contact list. Any attempts for someone not on this list to reach the child will not succeed – but will be reported to the parent.

My school is also concerned about issues such as hacking and cyber safety – is SPACETALK secure?

SPACETALK and the AllMyTribe guardian app are the No. 1 kids’ smartwatch phone and app* in Australia, accredited by world leading cybersecurity experts** for best practice security, including authenticated and encrypted communications between subsystems.

All data is stored in Australia by an Australian company, never used for advertising or profiling and protected by Australian child safety legislation.

*No 1 Children’s App in the Apple App Store, December 2019

**A team led by Dr Matthew Sorell of the University of Adelaide.

Isn’t SPACETALK just like Apple Watch and other smartwatches made for adults?

It’s what SPACETALK removes that makes it safe for Primary School use. Apple Watch and similar devices offer features such as apps and open access to the internet; the ability to call anyone and be called by anyone, with no parental control; and they have no School Mode or SOS emergency button. They also require the child to carry a separate phone, that also can’t be set to School Mode.

School Resources

Click on the school resources below to download, print and share with parents, teachers and the school community.

Click on the school resources below to download, print and share with parents, teachers and the school community.