Mobile Devices in Class?

Should students be allowed to use smartphones and laptops in class? If so, they might get distracted and check e-mail or browse Facebook, although they could just as easily doodle on paper or daydream if mobile devices weren’t allowed. Technology is rarely the sole cause for students being disengaged. In fact, laptops and smartphones can increase student engagement and enhance the learning environment if leveraged properly. Here are five reasons to allow (and even encourage) mobile devices in your class…

  • Using iClickers Cloud, students can engage with you and their peers by responding electronically to questions (TLP can help you set this up).
  • Students can supplement lecture by following along with Blackboard content or searching the web to learn more about concepts presented in class.
  • Some students have illegible handwriting and laptops can create typed, well-organized, and searchable notes. Microsoft OneNote is a good example of this which also facilitates in-class collaboration.
  • Students with accessibility needs often rely on laptops and don’t want to be singled out by a classroom ban on mobile devices.
  • If you approve students to record lectures, they can replay them while driving or working out if that’s their preferred method of learning.

If you allow laptops but not cell phones, the Pocket Points app might benefit both you and your students. When a student locks up and puts away their phone during class, they earn rewards that are redeemable at local stores.

Whatever your policy, there is real value in educating students about mobile device etiquette both in and out of the classroom.

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