Whether it’s browsing the Internet or playing a game, an increasing number of students are using their smartphones in class for other things then their actual class work.
Some Salt Lake Community College students, such as chemistry major Travis Isley, recognize they have a problem in class when it comes to using their smartphones. Isley uses his iPhone in all his classes, and sometimes he feels it can be a distraction.
“I use my iPhone to take notes in class,” Isley says. “But there are times when I get distracted by a game while in class. My attention will just wander off, and before I know it, I have been playing on my iPhone for quite some time.”
Isley is not the only one who gets distracted by his smartphone in class. Each generation of smartphone has introduced additional functionality, such as the proliferation of Wi-Fi, which allows students to easily connect to their favorite social network.
Annieka Pendleton is a first year student working on her generals. She admits that she can get distracted with her smartphone during class, and Facebook is one application that she finds very hard to stay away from.
“I guess you could say I am a little addicted to Facebook,” Pendleton says. “Even when I am in class, I always find myself needing to check up on my Facebook friends to see what’s going on.”
Some students, such as computer science major Austin Garn, don’t think that being on their smartphone is necessarily a distraction. Garn feels that he is able to pay attention in class even when playing on his phone.
“Even though I’m looking at the screen on my phone and browsing the Internet, I still am listening to the lectures in my class,” Garn says. “If there is anything important being taught, I just put my phone down and take notes for a minute.”
Student opinion of classroom smartphone courtesy also swings to the other side of the spectrum. Some students find it rude to be on the phone during class, and feel that a neighboring classmate who browses websites and plays games is both a distraction and disrespects the professor.
“It really bugs me when I see another student playing on their phone during class,” says student Erica Winn. “I am in class to learn and listen. I paid money to be here, and when another student is playing around on their phone, I feel like its very disrespectful and that they aren’t taking school very seriously.”