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Kids in Front of Laptop

Come One Technology, Come All Technology

by Toni Fuhrman

Campus Technology

Article excerpt

Faculty Alert: You Can't Put the Mobile Genie Back in the Bottle

Although recent Educause data shows that more than 50 percent of faculty prohibit or greatly discourage the use of mobile devices in the classroom (specifically, the smartphone), diFilipo pointed out that these same faculty members approve of or recommend laptops in the classroom. “But the smartphone is simply a laptop that doesn’t fold.

Our take

Is It Time to Embrace Smartphones in the Classroom?

A recent Educause study showed that, while more than 50 percent of the faculty surveyed prohibited or discouraged the use of mobile devices in their classrooms, these same teachers had no such qualms about the use of laptops—which many actually recommended or encouraged. What’s the difference between student use of laptops and mobile devices in the classroom? Not much from the student perspective—or from a logical consideration of what these devices do. Are teachers’ rules against mobile device use in the classroom misguided?

There is no question that the use of any objective or device that distracts student attention away from a teacher who is attempting to convey information can create angst—for the teacher. But, today’s classrooms aren’t, or shouldn’t be, structured exclusively from the old “sage on the stage” perspective. Mobile devices, like laptops, can enhance learning and provide ready access to information that can enhance classroom discussions and interactions. It may be time to embrace, rather than ban, smartphones in the classroom.