Every class has that one girl who is using her laptop to “take notes” but hasn’t stopped looking through American Eagle’s fall collection since the start of class. Are you that girl? Are you incapable of unplugging for a 50 minute lecture?
The increasing use of smartphones has caused a major distraction in college classrooms. Professors have become so fed up with the constant ding and buzz interrupting their lecture that they have had to ban the use of cellphones during class.
Balduccini believes that students aren’t paying attention when using devices in his “Concepts and Practices of BI&A” class.
“It all boils down to the fact that paying attention during lectures is critical,” he said. “Textbooks contain a large amount of useful information, but it’s during lectures that faculty can help people sort through that information, highlight what’s important vs what isn’t, and provide knowledge that is not in the textbook or not expressed as the instructor thinks it should be.”
Balduccini used to allow students to use electronics freely in his class until it became too much of a distraction. He feels that it affects the not only the student using device, but also every other student sitting in the class.
Pattillo has a no cellphone policy in English 101. “If a student has their phone out, they’re not fully present in the class because they’re paying attention to their phone and not the class,” she said. “There are times I collect them at the front of the room but they usually just need to be off. I can’t spend all day policing it, but it is a policy on my syllabus.”
Saint Joseph’s University students have a different opinion on the matter.
Freshman, Luke Smith, says, “I usually turn my ringer off but when my phone is sitting on my desk and I get a text or Snapchat, it can definitely be a distraction.” Social media plays a major role in how students become distracted during class because they are constantly checking their feeds so they don’t miss anything during the 50 minute lecture.
In an audio interview, we asked another freshman, Danielle Avanzato, her thoughts on the topic.