Hope Kumor argues technology is in the hands of most students and could cause unnecessary distractions in the classroom.
Whether it’s walking around Main Campus, waiting for a class to start, doing homework in Paley Library, or even in class, students are connected to technology. Everywhere you go, you either see someone texting, talking or surfing the Internet on their phone. It makes me wonder if technology affects academic performance in class.
“When I’m on the Internet [in class], I’m half paying attention,” said Nikki Kaytus, a junior history major. “I’m still listening to what the professor is saying, but I’m not looking at anything that he or she writes down. So far in the semester, not paying attention all the way hasn’t affected my grade.”
Students like Kaytus have no problem in class with their cell phone usage. However, Erica O’Brien, a Spanish professor would disagree with this claim.
“I do believe any ongoing lack of attention in any course is undoubtedly going to affect the student’s final grade,” O’Brien said.
Some students are engaged in the lecture, while others don’t feel the need to listen to their professor. Nowadays, most students are technologically connected, owning the most up-to-date mobile gadgets. However, their use should not be during lecture.
“It’s hard not to feel a bit disappointed when you see a student of yours take out their cell phone to look at the time, [or] text,” O’Brien said. “It sends the message that they are bored and want class to end, or aren’t engaged in what’s going on.”
It’s not a surprise to hear about a professors’ frustration toward the use of mobile devices while they teach. Honestly, it’s rather disrespectful.
Why take classes if you’re going to text through all of them? What’s the point of getting a college degree if you coast through your classes? Instead of wasting your time on the internet surfing through Facebook or tweeting on Twitter, your focus should be on your professor’s lecture because guess what: Your own earnings or loans are going toward your degree.
But, still, with this in mind, why do students feel the need to text or stay constantly socially connected in class? It is worth missing a point that your teacher made about a test coming up because you were looking at Susie’s profile wondering if her and your ex look happy in their pictures? Personally, for me, I don’t think so. I realize some classes are just fillers for your major, but since you’re using your own money, you would think this would be a reason not to distract yourself in class with technological chatter.
Think about when you get a professional job. Let’s say you have a work meeting and it’s dragging on longer than expected. Is your first thought to start texting or check your Facebook? Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but if you do things like that in a professional setting, you are more likely to get fired. It’s very unprofessional. Even if you’re subtle about it, it won’t matter because someone is going to take notice. Can you live without your cell phone for a few hours? I have faith in you to make the right decision.
The climate of the classroom has rapidly changed because of technology. Even though students are told they are permitted to utilize computers, many students check Facebook, email, or play games instead of taking notes.
However, this doesn’t mean that students should waste the whole class out of focus. College isn’t cheap these days, so pay attention.
Hope Kumor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.