Faculty Focus published an article by Sydney Fullbright asking “Cell Phones in the Classroom: What’s your Policy?”. My initial reaction is “no”, but in reality, I found this policy difficult to enforce.
The rational for saying no was that cell phones are disruptive to learning and Sydney confirms this in her article, but what about the benefits of cell phone use?
I approve of students using the cell phone for family responsibilities, making notes and study aids, and looking up information relevant to learning. I’m also interested in using mobile technology to engage students in learning with apps like Socrative.
With both advantages and disadvantages, a simple policy on cell phone use in the classroom is not as easy as it sounds. The comments on the article are as useful as the article itself and I enjoyed reading solutions offered by other faculty. I most agree with the approach of making the policy a collaborative effort. I would present to students the advantages and disadvantages and ask them how we should enforce any policy we decide on.