By Samantha Whittle
Cell phones are transforming the future. Almost every young adult has one and even young kids are obtaining phones. Currently cell phones are even thought of as a person’s lifeline. They are used for the Internet, contact with friends and family and calendars. When looking around most college campuses, you see students walking to their classes while looking down at their phones or holding their phones up to snap chat. This brings the question—should cell phones be allowed in college classrooms?
If that question was asked to most students, the answer would probably be yes. Many colleges and universities are deciding whether or not to have a ban on cell phones. Wyoming Catholic College has banned cell phones on the entire campus since 2007, in which they have only had two violations. Deep Springs College in Big Pine, California, bans any wireless Internet service, so even if a student has a phone, it would not do any good.
According to the Huffington Post, a new University of Nebraska-Lincoln study shows that the average college student checks their phone out of boredom or to text 11 times a day including during class when they should be paying attention to the instructor. Only 8 percent of the students in the survey say that they never look at their phone during class time.
“I believe they should keep it on silent, but phones don’t particularly bother me,” Shurooq Adieh, a freshman studying psychology from Batesville, said. “Some of my teachers encourage using phones for research but other than that, they are to be put up.”
Cell phones could be used to the advantage of a student in class by as a research tool to find information that would otherwise need to be researched in a computer lab. Using the phone for research, would give the class the information with a quicker and easier access. Using a phone to take notes could also possibly be reliable if the student does not have any paper with them.
“Students using phones in the classroom is pretty annoying,” Jennifer Wester, biology instructor on the Senatobia campus, said. “In labs, I sometimes let students use them for calculations, but there are a lot of opportunities for students to cheat or get distracted when using their phones.”
Northwest’s Oxford campus bans talking on cell phones inside any of the campus buildings. The point of the “no phone” policy is to limit distractions in the classroom. Some of the instructors do allow students to use apps and other sources on cell phones to help with class assignments.
“I try to integrate assignments into my courses that can be completed by using the cell phone. For example, we use the Quizlet flashcard app to study and quiz the medical terms for the Medical Terminology classes,” Kathy Buchanan, a business technology instructor at the Oxford campus, said. “We also use voice recorder apps for the medical terminology pronunciation quizzes.”
According to Ira Hyman Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology at Western Washington University, cell phones use should be completely eliminated in the classroom for two reasons: they distract students from the classroom task and even when used appropriately, such as to take notes, the learning results are less effective than if the student took notes with a pen and paper.