Actually, it sounds really silly even reading what I just typed. Why would a mass communications professor have a problem with students using technology in her classes?
I previously viewed students’ cell phones and laptops as my nemesis. They were just one more thing to distract students from whatever valuable information I was attempting to communicate with them. I had these statements in my syllabuses:
“You are not allowed to use a laptop or any other technology in class because it is not necessary to the course. Please do not get out your laptop during class. Cell phones also are not allowed to be on during class. Students found texting or using cell phones during class will be asked to discontinue this practice or leave.”
I still am firm on my “no ringing cell phones” policy in classes, but I re-evaluated my laptop and cell phone policies. They now read, for example:
“You are allowed to use a laptop or smart phone to document and/or live tweet class notes during the course session. If you choose to live tweet the course session, please use the #masc4213 hashtag. Also, you should review and adhere to the classroom Twitter policies, which are linked to the course site. Tips for getting the most out of live tweeting classes/events also may be found there.”
“You are not allowed to have your cell phone ringer or alert notification on during class. Students found texting or using cell phones or computers for anything other than note taking during class will be asked to discontinue this practice or leave. Repeated issues will result in lowering of your attendance/participation grade.”
I gave up the fight and embraced technology as a pedagogical tool, instead of a hindrance. Sure, I still want students to pay attention in my class, but I’m no longer convinced that they must power off to do so. Instead, I’m embracing social media as an interactive form of teaching and learning. I’m choosing to engage Millennial learners with the tools of their generation. We’ll see how it goes!
Let’s Talk Nerdy!
Should students be encouraged to use technology in class? Why or why not? What is your experiencing with this form of learning?