The Positive and Negative Effects of Using Cellphones During Class Hours

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As cell phones evolve and become more accessible in daily life, scholars and educators are forced to evaluate the effects of the presence of cell phones in college classes and adapt to education in a cellular age. Studies revealed that 96 percent of students own a cell phone and nearly 70 percent of those phones have Internet capabilities. With the advent of smart phones and cell phone applications, students are more connected to the world and are bringing that connection into classrooms. Suzanne Kurth, an associate professor of sociology at UT, studies the ways that electronically mediated forms of communication, like cell phones, are changing communication methods. "I spent some time looking at our ideas within social psychology…show more content…
So (cell phones) are very disruptive to them too. All of a sudden, they 're not necessarily the expert." A study has been conducted on the efficacy of using cell phones to interact with large classes. Through the use of a cell phone application, students could directly interact with the professor by sending text messages. Students responded positively to the application, because it afforded them anonymity and eliminated potential peer judgment. Kurth disagreed with this teaching technique, though. "I 'm not going to be moving them forward, in a sense," Kurth said. "I 'm going to let them stay where they are, or (let them) slip back," if she doesn 't actively seek out face-to-face participation from students. Kurth 's main foci, in her research, are the theoretical bases distinguishing the contrast between face-to-face and mediated communication, as well as a student 's preference to send text messages rather than talk to someone. Acknowledging the potential benefits of this study, Stovall occasionally offers students the chance to use Twitter during class. This assignment is a means of earning extra credit while keeping students engaged in the lecture by incorporating the use of the Internet and cell phones. "I really do want (students) to pay attention, and I want (them) to share (their) reactions to what I 'm saying with other people who read Twitter," Stovall said. "Ideally, from a professor 's point of view, you 've got everybody 's
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