Cellphone ban spreads across nation’s college campuses

Photo by Dale Basler courtesy of Creative Commons.

Andrea Sanmiguel/Contributing Writer

While the ban on cellphones in schools is prevalent in K-12 classrooms, restrictions have also been popping up on college campuses in New York, Wyoming, Nevada and California.

Susan Jacobson, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said that she does not allow students to use their cellphones during class unless it is an emergency.

[pullquote]“I believe that if a student is texting friends or surfing Facebook during class, the student is not participating in the classroom discussion and is cheating [himself or herself] out of an education,” Jacobson said.[/pullquote]

According to a 2012 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation on the media habits of young people, two-thirds of college freshmen said they use social media sites while in class.

As for considering phone use during class hours as a distraction, Vanessa Garcia, junior psychology major, says it depends on the student.

“I could have my phone on my desk the whole time and just check the time. If someone texts me in class, I might check it, but if it is nothing serious, I’ll just flip my phone over and continue taking notes,” Garcia said.

 However, David Sanabria, junior broadcast journalism major, agrees that it is a distraction for students.

“People get addicted to [their cellphones],” Sanabria said. “It’s compulsory, almost like [attention deficit disorder.]”

 Moses Shumow, assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has a certain expectation that his students stay off their cellphones in class.

“We have this idea that we are able to multitask and listen to the professor and also text with our friend and go on Facebook,” said Shumow. “But the fact is that once you start doing those other things, your ability to listen and pay attention to the professor essentially goes to zero.”

Whether or not a ban should occur, David Gonzalez, junior broadcast journalism major, said people who are distracted on their phones or electronics are most likely going to find another way to distract themselves.

“Laptops, cellphones, I don’t know – Nintendo? They’ll figure something out,” Gonzalez said.

Sanabria said a ban would make students pay attention to their professors.

Shumow, however, said that using cellphones as a tool in the classroom may be an alternative to a ban altogether.

[pullquote]“Engaging students on their terms is the only way to really make an impact. Incorporate technology in class, put things in front of them that are familiar,” Shumow said. [/pullquote]”This can be one of the many alternatives to eliminate the idea of getting rid of phones and electronics in the classroom. [We can] work with the idea that technology is in the present day and will be something that is almost impossible to get rid of.”

– news@fiusm.com

Be the first to comment on "Cellphone ban spreads across nation’s college campuses"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.