Cell phones an asset to classrooms

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Instructors should stop worrying about whether or not I am sending a reminder text to my roommate or posting a picture to my Snapchat story.

As a college student, my experience with cell phone rules in class has only slight variations. The vast majority of instructors will tell the class about their cell phone policy while explaining the syllabus. After that, the class and I oblige to follow policy.

Some instructors are pretty lenient, but I have had more than one instructor threaten to dock up to 50 points at first sight of an infraction of his or her particular policy

I was not able to find any school policy regarding cell phone use for Dixie State University, so I assume instructors are granted the right to implement any policy they see fit.

Recently, I have wondered to myself, “Why does my instructor get to tell me what I can and cannot do with something that is my personal property?”

Ken Halla, a successful education blogger and a high school teacher, has been incorporating technology and cell phone use into his class for a few years. By doing so, he has seen productivity in his classrooms go up.

In an article Cell Phone Use in the Classroom  done by the National Education Association, Halla said, “Not every classroom can get a laptop every day, so [devices like smartphones], even if you have to pair up, become something useful for teachers.”

As a student who pays for college, I believe going to class is important, and paying attention and taking notes leads to good grades. I understand if I come to class and pay more attention to my phone than the discussion, I probably won’t retain the information I’ll need to succeed. But I also recognize that by paying too much attention to my phone, I may get distracted and my grade may suffer and it is my own fault; I have earned the negative consequences.

Other than times when a quiz or a test is out, the instructor really does not have the right to make me put my cell phone away. And with all of the time students are sitting around in class, a break to use cell phones might even increase the interest and focus of students.

I am not suggesting students spend all of class on their cell phones. What I am advocating for is students’ right to text or update that Snapchat story if they want to, and instructors to look for ways to implement cell phones into their curriculum.

Students should have the right to operate their cell phones during class. Because I am old enough to be in college, I am old enough to live with the consequences of sending a text in class.