College Students and Their Mobile Devices

It is probably easy to ascertain that nearly every single student in college owns a cell phone. But what might be more astounding is that they don’t consider it rude to employ the use of that cell phone while sitting in class. In fact, studies have revealed that 92% of them admit texting at least 11 times throughout the day, while in class. So, what else do we need to know about college students and their mobile devices?

The research points to the fact that cell phones are a distraction for students while they are in class. But, that doesn’t stop them from purchasing the newest Samsung J3 and a flip case wallet cover from Izengate. In fact, they can find all the information they need on the newest phones on the market while on that site. And then, once they have made their purchases, they are going to keep right on texting one another in the middle of class.

College Students and Their Mobile Devices

What’s Wrong with Cell Phones in Class?

Probably the first and foremost answer should be a simple one. It is rude. Texting someone while the professor speaks is like talking in class. Yes, you might be making less noise, but you are still ignoring the individual talking to you, the one imparting wisdom to you. And, that’s not acceptable even if the disrespect is a silent version.

But, if respect doesn’t make you reconsider your behavior there is a broader answer. Namely, human beings are not wired for the chore of multi-tasking. As much as we would like to claim otherwise, the truth is, we don’t do it well. Something always gets the lesser of our attention and therefore suffers because of it. In this case, it will be your grades.

If you don’t believe us, look at these research results based on those who did the most texting during class:

  1. They took lower quality notes. (Learn more about taking good notes.)
  2. They retained less information.
  3. They did worse on tests.
  4. 80% of students admit that using their phones in class decreases their ability to pay attention.

The results aren’t just applicable to cell phones, but other devices as well. And, this isn’t a “victimless” crime. Research shows that people sitting in the vicinity of those who were multi-tasking on laptops and cell phones did worse on tests as well.

What’s Good about Cell Phones in Class?

It wouldn’t be prudent to only illuminate the cons of this side of the debate. Therefore, we have constructed a rather brief list of the good things about having cell phones in class. Here is that list:

  • Poll Everywhere (learn more it here)
  • Learning Catalytics (read about this)
  • Maximize student engagement with apps like those suggested.

Overall though, we have to admit that we just can’t validate the positive side of allowing cell phones in class. Yes, we understand that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances in which you need to be sure you can be reached no matter where you are. However, that should not initiate your desire to disregard the professor’s lecture by playing on FB, Candy Crush, or simply chatting with your friends via text. If you must have your cell phone in class, be sure it is on silent and then keep it in your pocket. You will be alerted when it vibrates should there be an emergency.

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