ARE CELL PHONES IN CLASSROOMS A DISTRACTION TO THE LEARNING PROCESS AMONGST STUDENTS?

Students enter college classrooms daily, with their handy dandy cell phones at their side. “Realizing the impact of technology on fellow learners and faculty represents an area of concern.” (Burns, 2010)

Using an online database through Rose State College, I found that a quantitative descriptive study had examined the perception of faculty and students use of cell phones during class. The results revealed that the majority of students refrained from cell phone use during class time. While all faculty revealed that they refrained from cell phone use during class time. Teachers are showing students cell phone etiquette by doing this. After all, they know that their main objective in their job is to teach. If faculty members could not refrain themselves from their cell phones during class time, students might think that it is okay for them to do the same. Then students would be distracted from the learning process within the classrooms. This paper will show the many reasons of how cell phones interrupt the learning process in college and how this interruption causes college students to withdraw from classes, receive additional tutoring, and drop out of school. Therefore, refraining or prohibiting cell phones from inside classrooms can be considered beneficial to students and the learning process.

Social media is the number one cause of cell phone distractions in classrooms. Why? Well, it is a well-known fact that most college students use social media. Making Facebook or Twitter their top priority, instead of school. Most college students like the feel of connection, which is why they are Facebook dependent. It allows them to see what is going on with their friends, community, school and occupation. How is it that different types of social media can affect student’s grades exactly? Statistics were measured below, which was found using an online education web site.

“Studies actually show that classes that use twitter typically have up to half a grade point higher scores. It is also directly tied to students collaborating online with 75% saying that they would engage in online collaboration. But unsurprisingly those that try and study while using Facebook are actually hurting their grades. In fact those that multitask between Facebook and studying have 20% lower grades. What is interesting is that 79% of students surveyed don’t believe this statistic.” (Onlineeducation.net, 2011)

So profoundly, Twitter has been shown to increase grades and Facebook has been shown to decrease them. The majority of college students who use Facebook become too addicted to their news feed to study, which means a decrease in grades as well.  “But with around 96% of all college students on Facebook, only the most dedicated academics would consider giving up social media for a slightly better GPA.” (O’Dell, 2011)

Another type of distraction inside classrooms is one we are all aware of, texting. “Texting in a college classroom has become a popular controversial subject for students and professors alike.” (Shreckengost, 2011) Texting on a cell phone is one of the fastest communication tools used amongst students. In a text messaging survey, conducted at California State University by college students, it was found that 70 percent of students text during lectures in the classroom. But then 64 percent of students also revealed that they believe texting interferes with the quality of their education. (Shreckengost, 2011) In addition to texting being a cell phone distraction, it has also been linked to cheating as well. Students fail to realize that when they cheat, they are only cheating themselves in the long run. How does that affect their overall grade if caught cheating? They would probably be written up for academic misconduct, so it is really not worth it in the end. Also, being at college level, faculty members assume that students have exercised enough discipline to where they would show respect or etiquette by putting their cell phones away and leaving it there until class is over, to prevent texting at least. Unfortunately, it is not likely that everyone has the same beliefs regarding cell phone usage.

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