You may have run into an issue with your students using cell phones during your time teaching. I'm here to tell you what I've learned over the years as a current senior in college.
College is about gaining knowledge to use in your career, relationships, and every day life. Given the current media climate, we are a people full of devices and media constantly around us.
Instead of interpreting this change in media, schools have banned cell phones and all other devices out of the classroom. Given that we are a very tech-driven society, it seems traditional colleges are being left behind.
I feel a "no cell phone" policy only makes me feel like I am a child that needs to have their phone taken away to succeed. I have even seen the start of professors using an app on student's phones to track their time spent on their phones during class time. That's where I draw the line.
It is up to the student whether they want to be present in the classroom or not. Students are paying for these classes and it should be their choice whether they can use a phone or not. As myself and other students know, cell phones are a deterrent and distract us from what is being taught in class.
There is such a draw to these devices that even an hour and fifteen-minute lecture can be too long. Yes, I do know that this is terrible, but unfortunately, that is the climate of today.
I am here to tell you that you should let students decide if they want to be active during your class. On the first day, present them a choice. Be present in class and actually learn, or be distracted by your device and not get anything out of the class.
Yes, students are aware that devices pose as a distraction to their learning environment, but it should not be banned. Giving students the option to shut off their phones during class gives them the freedom to choose, and therefore treats students with respect.
As a current senior, I've had my fair share of cell phone policies, and the best one that worked for me was an environment where I felt respected. Let students make the decision and you could see a change.
A perturbed student.