Going Mobile: Phones in Class

A student glances quickly around before secretly texting a classmate. Holding the phone just out of sight of her professor, her attention turns to the keypad on her blackberry. The message is sent. She looks quickly up and feigns interest.

Her classmate sees the text pop up on his iPhone. He glances around. Holding the phone under his desk, he reads the text and chuckles at the comment. He types a quick reply. His head straightens and he begins nodding, pretending that he is following the discussion at hand.

Why do students feel the urge to text, tweet, email and surf the Internet during class? Are they multitasking? Are they talking about the class? Or are they just plain bored?

On Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 12:30 pm (Eastern) Dr. John A. McArthur will lead the weekly #SMCEDU Twitter chat on this topic. Issues discussed will surround:

  • mobile phone technology
  • the potential for in-class distraction
  • course policies related to mobile use
  • ideas for engaging mobile technology in the classroom
  • strategies for harnessing the potential benefits of utilizing mobile phones in the classroom

Educators, students, faculty and interested people are invited to join the discussion on Twitter. To participate, follow the hashtag #smcedu on Twitter and include the hashtag in your tweets. All are welcome.

John A. McArthur, Ph.D., is an assistant professor and director of undergraduate programs in the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. He is an active researcher on information design and media, technology, and society. Contact Dr. McArthur at http://jamcarthur.com or on Twitter @JAMcArthur.

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