NEW YORK (WABC) -- The man who created the special bags that are used to keep phones locked up during live events like concerts or comedy shows always had a bigger vision for his product.
Graham Dugoni saw a use for the Yondr bag in schools where about one million students are learning its advantages.
Dugoni invented a bag that locks a cellphone inside so it can't distract you and you can't distract those around you.
"It allows people to re-orient in a really fundamental way," Dugoni said.
Yondr's inventor wants his device to become a way of life for the nation's students by making schools like 75 Morton phone-free.
When 7th-graders Alanna Miller and Lily Gleiberman arrive at school, they lock their phones in a pouch and keep it with them until unlocking it when they go home by using a magnet.
The idea of not using their phones for eight hours was hard for them to accept at first, but now they say the technology has made it easier to learn than before.
"There would be kids literally playing video games while the lesson was going on," Gleiberman said.
"It was like really distracting, and so I really like it, I really believe it's going to help us as a community," Miller said.
Their teachers say Yondr has already helped.
"They are way more engaged. Everyone's happier because of the pouches," teacher Gigi Grant said.
"Middle school students are also growing socially, and part of what Yondr bags do is provide guard rails for students so that they know when and where to use the phones, and the classroom is not the place for the phone," said teacher Theresa Soto.
Principal Valerie Lake said the stakes are higher today because the pandemic lockdown made students more dependent on their phones.
"They have to interact and talk to each other, and we've seen a lot of really positive results in our culture," Lake said. "We've seen a decrease significantly from last year with online bullying."
Lake said no access to the phone means fewer group chats which are often the source of bullying.
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