Schools that have embraced digital technology are going cool on cellphones, as evidence mounts that over-using them is damaging children's lives.

Liberal schools such as Albany Senior High School on Auckland's North Shore are still allowing cellphones but are teaching students about how to manage their use of them.

Several more conservative schools, such as Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland and St Joseph's Māori Girls' College in Napier, have banned them in moves which AUT digital education researcher Dr Leon Benade believes "might set a trend".

Benade, who was deputy principal of St Paul's College in Ponsonby until 2007,