Professors lay down the law on cell phone use


Professors are creating policies to keep students from using their phones in class. Photo / Emily Rowan

In the world today the use of mobile devices is constant and that’s something everyone knows. You see people constantly checking their phones or just staring blankly at them. There are so many interesting things to be done on mobile devices that is for sure more interesting than school work.

I definitely think cell phones are distracting to students. You cannot concentrate on two things at the same time,” Darla Nagy, Cabrini mathematics professor, said. “Maybe it doesn’t matter if you miss that 2 minutes of class, but maybe it does. How do you know since you weren’t listening?! Then, when you ask a question about what you just missed, you are now wasting everyone else’s time.”

AccordingA 2009 study by Stanford University published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “The research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They’re basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking.”

“Classes that seem to be boring I find myself wanting to go on my phone to scroll through Twitter or whatever,” sophomore Megan McLoughlin said. “However, I usually put my phone in my backpack or leave it in in my dorm so I can help stop myself. I know that what we are learning in class is important no matter how boring it seems. Leaving my phone out of the picture helps me stay more focused.”

“Students are not permitted to have cell phones out during class; therefore, I don’t really deal with students texting while I am teaching,” Dr. Nicholas Uliano, Cabrini Professor, said. “In those rare cases where a student chooses to break the rule and text, I ask for the phone and keep it until the end of the class.”

When it comes to college classes there is no tolerance for cheating and in some classes no use of mobile devices. Some professors give their students rules pertaining to cell phones or other devices on the first day of class. It can be stressful to make sure students aren’t using a device to cheat.

I have everyone take their phone out, turn it off, and leave it on the desk when they are taking a test. Hopefully that solves the cheating problem,” Darla Nagy said. “I can see the phones so they can’t use them. If I still caught a student cheating by any method I would write the student up and send the information to the Dean.”

The reason behind not allowing the use of cellphones during class is to ultimately help students stay on task. If someone is constantly checking their cell phone or having conversations outside of the classroom, it takes away from what they are being taught in class.  “Of course. It goes without saying that cell phones and other devices distract students from concentrating on the material being presented or the class discussion,” Uliano said.

Professors enforcing the rule of no cell phones during class will only benefit the students. It helps students pay attention and get what they are paying for. There’s no good in spending so much money on college if you’re only going to sit on your phone during class.

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