Benefits of fidget spinners differ among student groups - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Benefits of fidget spinners differ among student groups

Giving it a spin. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV. Giving it a spin. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.

Some educators think they help concentration, others think they are a classroom distraction, but either way, fidget spinners don't seem to be going anywhere.

They’ve been popular less than a year. We spoke with an LISD employee, who also happens to be a mom, about the spin zone.

Elizabeth Ross, Communications Specialist for Longview Independent School District, says they don’t have a district-wide policy about fidget spinners right now.

“We leave it up to the individual campuses to regulate,” Ross said.

At this point in the game, they are considered personal property, much like a:

“Cell phone or a tablet. A fidget spinner would be okay as long as long as it is not a distraction if it is allowed on that campus,” Ross explained.

LISD campuses haven’t reported any big problems with the spinners.

“And as long as it’s not a distraction for the general classroom education, it should be fine,” Ross pointed out.

Ultimately it’s up to the teacher. If students are just sitting there spinning them and not paying attention:

“She might just outlaw it in her classroom, before that campus even makes that rule, just to keep it on the safe side,” Ross relayed.

As a mom of school-aged children, Elizabeth has an opinion about the spinners.

“As far as ADHD and ADD, just knowing about those situations for kids, I don’t see how the fidget spinner would help them. If anything, I feel like that might be a distraction,” Ross observed.

But, she thinks a spinner might do some good for a child who is on the autism spectrum.

“And that can be a way to kind of bridge that gap, and relax them and help them pay more attention. Or if a kid on the spectrum is getting upset and on their way to a meltdown situation, playing with something like that can really soothe them and bring it back because a lot of kids on the spectrum don’t have coping mechanisms,” Ross stated.

Elizabeth would know about that, since she has a child on the spectrum. But she also has another child who just wants one because they’re cool.

I think it might be a good tool to teach angular inertia in science class. 

The jury is still out on the fidget spinner’s actual effectiveness, since there have been no studies released on the topic.

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