Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 13/Student Soapbox

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Foundations Chapter 13 Student Soap Box

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Many college students bring their cell phones and laptops to class. Some of these students use these technological tools to engage in non-school related personal activities (such as texting friends or chatting on Facebook) during class time. In fact, in Spring 2009 an ECI 301 student told the professor she couldn't participate in a class role-playing activity because she was engaged in an argument with her boyfriend on Facebook.

Many high schools and junior high schools have strict policies outlawing cell phones and prohibiting students from using computers for personal activities during school hours. Should college classrooms enact such regulations? Or should college students be able to make their own decisions about how to use their technology during class?



Add your response below. Extra credit will be awarded to multimedia responses.


We're all adults here. College students should decide for themselves how and when they want to use their phones and laptops and the extent to which they will participate in class activities.[edit]

I often see students in class wit their laptops surfing the web or chatting but I also see many students taking notes. I find that most teachers will say something if they see a student checking their email during class and I find that most students will switch pages as the teacher walks by showing that they know its wrong. We are adults paying for college with our own money (some of us),if students want to take a moment to "phase out" during a 3 hour class let them. I cannot imagine anyone spending the entire class not paying attention, they would fail.Jnemo001 (talk) 04:44, 10 August 2009 (UTC)


I am sort of on the border about this topice. I do feelt hat college students should have the right to use their technology as they please. I say this by means of that these devices or whatever they are doing does not affect the learning of other students. Honestly, I can ot imagine that everyone pays 100 percent attention 100 percent of the time and I feel they have a right to do what they please for a few moments to get back on track. We all need those moments of escape or day dream. I think high school is a tougher choice just because of maturity and not always being considerate of peers. Sston008 (talk) 00:56, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

College students should be responsible for themselves and what they do on their computers and/or cell phones. As long as they are not being disruptive to the classroom or disrespectful to the teachers. I have been in classes where while the professor is lecturing students have answered their phones in class. This is rude and disruptive and should not be tolerated. But, as long as the students aren't being disrespectful, what they get out of class is up to them. Hcogg001 (talk) 23:27, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I do feel students should be allowed to bring their technologies to class. I also feel though that students should be respectful of the teachers and turn their phones to vibrate while in the class. As for the facebook and myspace issues during class I do feel that students can use those technologies in the classroom but I feel I would not do that. i feel I am paying a lot of money to attend college and I feel I want to get my moneys worth. Lwill031 (talk) 14:48, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

College students should be allowed to have more freedom than high school students. In college courses the expectations are set from the beginning of class about participation. If the professor requires the student to participate in class in order to receive part of their grade then they need to realize that. If they choose to not participate then they should know they are forfeiting their grade. If the professor just require attendance and no participation, then the student should be able to use the time in class to fit their needs. It is up to the student to acquire the knowledge that the professor shares. After that the student's education is in their hand. Jtmitchem (talk) 16:37, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

When you are a college student you should have enough sense to make your own decisions. But I do believe if something a student is doing on their cell phone or laptop is disrupting other students or the class that the professor has rights to take action. The real issue is if it is hindering other students from concentrating or learning. If you are minding your own business but not paying attention in class that is your fault and you will have to catch up on your own time. Even if these things were not allowed in class, students would have other ways not to pay attention or participate. I know there are many students who do not have these things but still will not participate. So I think students should be able to decide for themselves. Aferg006 (talk) 02:11, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

College students should be capable of making their own decisions. We are adults. That said, a professor should be totally within their rights to simply walk over to someone using their laptops for facebooking or anything other than class-related use and ask politely for them to leave.Hsmit022 (talk) 22:14, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I totally agree with this statement. Even if cell phones are not allowed, we as college students will still find a way to use them during class. Also, colleges can not ban the use of laptops because many students use them for note-taking and not just Facebooking. I feel that if students decide to bring their laptop to class but use it for Facebook instead of taking notes, then that is their choice and their fault. It's the same as not coming to class- it's a choice that the student has made. Sbutl016 (talk) 17:42, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

By the time a student is in college they should know how to respect others in a class. As long as someone cell phone or computer are not disrupting anyone in the class, these items should be in the class it is their paid education they are jeopardizing not mine.Mlipl001 (talk) 01:11, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't think that college students need to be restricted on wether they can bring their phone or computer to class. College students should be treated as adults, and when adults get treated like children they act the same. Restricting college students would send out a message that they are not able to behave in an adult setting. Allthought I do not think that college students should be restructed, I do feel that it is very disrespectfull for a student to be doing unrelated school activities during a class, it is distracting as well. If a students is really not in the class to pay attention and try lo learn from the professor than they should not come at all. On another note I think that teachers who have rules about mandatory attendance to class to be able to pass the class is unnecessary. I think that as long as the students completes the work on time and passes the test that they should be able to pass the class and that attendance should have nothing to do with passing the class. We are all suppose to be aduls right? Let us be responsible for our own actions.Bpenn005 (talk) 17:06, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

It would be so ridiculous to enact those same rules at a college level. Even at a high school and middle school level, it is still a little ridiculous. We cannot fight the trends of technology. We should simply embrace them and find ways to integrate those things into our curriculum. We should integrate them during school years. In college, students should be able to choose how to effectively time manage. I like teletechnet classes because I can come listen to the lectures and also do homework for my other classes. Having my laptop and being in class is an effective way for me to multitask and make the most of every minute of my time. It should be my choice as how to spend my time. I pay to be lectured to. Abitt002 (talk) 17:18, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I would have to agree that we are all adults, and college students should be able to decide for themselves how and when they want to use their phones and laptops and the extent to which they will participate in class activities. I have always been a good student, but I will admit that I do log onto the Wireless Internet during some college courses to check my e-mail or Face book. It helps to pass the time, especially when you feel that a 3 hour class could be accomplished in an hour. Some classes, however, do not allow you to search the web and require 100% attention. If you decide not to give the professor this attention, your must pay the consequences. College students should be treated like adults in every manner, and they should be responsible for their own actions. Afett001 (talk) 22:08, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

College students should be allowed to use whatever they want in class as long as it disturbs no one else. They fact that they are adults responsible for their own actions and are paying to attend gives them this right. They do not have the right to interfere with anyone else's learning. 97.80.242.214 (talk) 23:49, 7 August 2009 (UTC) Sciaston (talk) 23:12, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I feel that when you are in college, you should be responsible enough to make your own decisions in class. Regardless of whether you choose to pay attention to the material or not, you are paying for the class so what you want to do in that time is your responsibility. I am not saying you should be texting or on Facebook the whole class period, but if that is what you decide to do with your time instead of paying attention to the material, then that is no one else's concern but your own. I do not believe that schools should enact policies against having technology in the classroom. Sometimes cell phones are good when people need to get in contact with you and cant call you. Texting is less of a distraction than calling someone during class, and you can often just send a quick text to ensure plans without losing sight of the material. I feel that college students are all adults and should be able to make their own decisions regarding technology use in the classroom. Rburt005 (talk) 13:10, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

A very controversial and important issue because we have seen recently that technology has shown improvement, and deterioration, among students. If college classrooms place such restrictions during school hours, students may be less incline to attend courses and/or schools. On the other hand, it may strengthen the work ethic of students who follow these restrictions because it shows the professors and college that these are truly dedicated students. There can also be two sides to college students making their own decisions. By the time a student is in college, they should have the common sense to pay attention during class, and if not, deal with the consequences. However, I know that occasionally there are students, especially with children at home, who like having a form of silent communication in the classroom since cell phones are very disruptive. With the very small exception of freshmen and sophomores that recently graduated from high school, it is my opinion that it is the students’ choice to use technology for personal activities during course sessions. By the time you are taking college courses, you should be mature enough to make responsible decisions such as paying attention in class. And if not, blaming only yourself for a bad grade. In the cases such as the ECI 301 student who was too busy arguing with her boyfriend of Facebook to participate in an activity, I think they deserve an F or some type of grade deduction. Depending on the teacher, they may even be asked to leave since they are too busy doing something personal on the teacher’s time. I understand emergencies, where students have to leave during class, however, it seems that this scenario could have waited until after class. And if it was truly important to the student, she should have left the classroom. The classroom is a place for learning, and if you are not available to do that, then you should not be there. Adart001 (talk) 17:18, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I think that college students are old enough to know what is right from wrong and engaging in their own decisions. I feel that we are also old enough to deal with the consequences of such actions. We all know that if we engage in Facebook chats while in class we wont learn anything, therefore, the time and effort we have spent is for nothing. I don't agree with using these technology gadgets as "time-killers" for class time. Everything has a place and time. Laptops should be used to review school material only while in class. While cellphones should be stored and silenced. Ehern004 (talk) 18:51, 8 August 2009 (UTC)


While I must agree that there should be a limit to what students do in class, we are all adults and the truth is we paid for the classes we take and if it is not impeding the other classmates from learning I say go for it. Now do I think it is rude for the teacher to be lecturing and someone ignoring questions or directions, yes! But, like I said that is a maturity thing and anyone of us could place ourselves in the shoes of the teacher and see how we would feel. Probably not too happy with the student, I think. So common courtesy is the key and if you woud rather fight with your boyfriend then get a good grade then it was your money and it was your grade.

I think it would be ridiculous to ban these things from college classrooms, we should all be responsible enough to know what's acceptable and what's not in the classroom. I'm aware of those that rudely partake in online activities during class, however, those students should be penalized individually instead of penalizing the whole class. Rpaige (talk) 15:19, 9 August 2009 (UTC)


The obvious difference between college students and high school students is that college student pay to be there, and high schoolers legally have to be there. High school students are mandated by the state to attend and meet certain standards. Their attendance is monitored as well as their in class activities. College goers on the other hand are legally adults and pay to attend class. No one checks behind them to see that they are attending class, so why would it seem necessary to limit what they can or cannot do in class to the extent to which it does not interrupt anyone else's learning.Scrai010 (talk) 02:06, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

College students pay tuition and should not be held under the same rules as high schools. However, that being said, teachers and professors could use laptops and cell phones as well as other technology and incorporate them into the lecture. Students may be less likely to use them for personal uses. There is a line that can be crossed. It is a different story if you are disturbing others. Alucy001 (talk) 02:33, 10 August 2009 (UTC)


I agree with the statement we are adults, if that's how we want to spend our class time then we are only hurting ourselves. In college we have to pay for out education unlike in high school. This is one of the main reasons why the colleges shouldn't waist their time trying too enforce those rules, because it won't really do them any good. For instance, look at the high schools and junior high schools that do enforce the no computers no cell phone rules. The students have figured out ways to hide the fact that they are using their phones. They text from in their desk or inside their purses. I think that if you want to spend a thousand dollars on a class a choose to spend that time on Facebook that should be your mistake, I mean decision. Rcoll029 (talk) 04:48, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Courtesy please. I don't want to be distracted by a classmate on Facebook. If students are not here to learn; they shouldn't bother coming.[edit]

I have to say that I wish most college students were responsible enough to make the decision on their own but unfortunately many are not. It is very frustrating to see people on the phone, searching the internet or playing games. It can be very distracting for other students in the class as well as for the professor. I think that for the sake of the rest of the class and as an act of respect for the teacher, using technological devices not pertaining to the class material should not be allowed. I think its great to incorporate computers into lessons and if students find them helpful then that's great, but keep to the class material and just take notes! Chances are, you'll be better off that way anyways! Khedl002 (talk) 23:55, 9 August 2009 (UTC)khedl002


I'm surprised that not more postings are down here with the anti-technology vote. To me, it is so aggravating to watch someone sit there and text friends all during class. It's rude, to say the least. If someone is on their phone or computer they ARE NOT listening to what is being discussed in class. This is a sore subject with me because I think that people who are always texting are RUDE and it's disruptive to everyone around. It's like going out to dinner with someone and while they are talking to you they are texting someone. REALLY? SO rude! If people are permitted to text and look at their laptops during a lecture I should be able to knit. At least I would be paying attention. Ldomm002 (talk) 00:16, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I consider myself a technologically savvy individual and I own a cell phone and a laptop (along with lots of other goodies). I don't have a problem with them being in a classroom; however, what students are doing with them can be distracting. Ringers should be silenced as not to interrupt the teacher or students. (I fully understand the need to have communication in case of an emergency.) If you can't take your fingers off of the keypad long enough to suspend your texting, turn it off. You may think it is not bothering anyone, but it is. And yes, we know what you are doing with the phone under the desk. I don't have a problem with laptops in the classroom. It is your decision whether or not you choose to waste your time chatting on Facebook instead of concentrating on your class. Personally, I think it is rude. I know that these all are a sign of the times. Please, if you can't tear yourself away from the cell or social networking, turn it off. The last time I checked, there is not a degree being offered in texting. Acrow005 (talk) 18:37, 6 August 2009 (UTC)


I think using a cell phone in class in very disrespectful to not only to the professor but to fellow classmates as well. If you are in college you need to act like a civilized adult and be respectful of others. Laptops are somewhat distractful when classmates are on sites that are not related to the class. I was in an ecology class one time where the guy in front of me constantly used his laptop. He never paid attention to the professor (who was an awesome teacher) and I would find my eyes wondering to his screen more than once during class. This really had an indirect effect on me and my grade in that class. I would try to go over my notes that night after lecture and couldn't remember anything that my teacher had said. I confided in my professor and we decided it would be best if I moved where I sit in class. It helped me but I don't think that I should've had to move. The guy was a genius and aced every test. Looking back on it now he was probably bored with the class and wanted something else to do. However, I still believe he should have shown courtesy for me and my other classmates. Hcomb003 (talk) 21:21, 6 August 2009 (UTC)


I think you should turn off your cell phone and limit your computer use to in-school studies ONLY! School is a place for learning. If you would rather talk on your phone or play computer games, than you should not come to class. It is the perogative of the professor to prohibit the use of cell phones and laptops during class. When I went to the orientation for a class, some of the students played games on the computers while the professor was discussing the syllabus of the impending class. I found it very distracting. The professor even stopped in the middle of his discussion to ask the students if they found the games more appealing than the discussion. The students thought it was funny and I felt sorry for the professor. As the beginning question noted, college students are presumed adults...so they need to act like it and show some respect to the professor who is trying to teach them something. As for the student in the ECI 301 spring class...the student should face some kind of reprimand, because that is just plain stupidity. Obviously, they are not mature enough to attend college. It's all about common courtesy and respect that we seem to be lacking these days! What happened to "do unto others as you wish them to do unto you?"Scarlett1 (talk) 06:00, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

As far as face book is concerned I don’t really find it all that distracting if a classmate chooses to squander his time rather than listen to a lecture. (Often I am jealous that they have the option to do so as many lectures are somewhat less than stellar) However, cell phones should be off during class time. Perhaps I can deal with texting, if the student has their keypad silenced, but actually talking on the phone? That’s just absurd. Of course this applies to the student on the laptop as well, although there are not many who’ve made it to college that are either A) rude enough, or B) stupid enough, to fart around on unsilenced laptops during class. Overall though I can see how professors would hate the disrespect implicit in the act of texting or abusing laptop privileges. I also, think it largely depends upon the grade level and class size. In an auditorium size college class obviously it would be much harder to enforce any kind of embargo on laptops or cell phones. Where as in a high school class room, due to the proximity to other students and the teacher a cell phone or laptop abuser would be easier to spot, and probably be a larger distraction. BitterAsianMan (talk) 18:40, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Courtesy please. I believe that colleges should make requirements for students not to engage in off-task facebook or phone interactions during class. The reason for this is simple. Doing such off-task stuff such as facebook or phone texting distracts not only the one doing it but also others in the class. It's the class at large that is at stake. Therefore, the issue is more than simply about the freedom of one student. Thus, the rule should be enforced. In reference to the problem mentioned above, if the girl is immature to argue over facebook during class, I think the boyfriend was right in dumping her. Mbrowder (talk) 00:49, 17 August 2009 (UTC)