Faculty sound off on cell phones
Texting and cellphones may be ubiquitous these days, but an unscientific survey of CCA members indicates that instructors have found their own way of coping in class. Here’s what some had to say:
Sheri Lillard, San Bernardino College, chemistry:
“My cellphone policy is no cellphones. If someone’s cellphone goes off, I don’t punish them. We’re all guilty at times. I do have a no texting policy but I haven’t really had to enforce it. My classes are interactive and students have a lot to do. I do have a strict policy in my lab classes of no Googling. I don’t want them looking up answers.”
Tim Raposa, Sierra College, anthropology
“I tell my students on the first day when I go over the syllabus that it is disrespectful and unacceptable to talk or text when either I am lecturing or another student is asking or answering a question. If I see someone texting I ask them politely to please stop and remind them that if what they need to communicate is more important than my lecture then they are welcome to step out into the hallway. If that student does it again, I ask them to leave the class… That being said, we as faculty should try not to text when we are at meetings also.
San Bernardino College, history and political science:
“I tell them, ‘put it away. It can wait. You think you can multi-task, but you can’t.’ If they want to continue and they fail, it’s on them. They are all adults.”
Mike Carlucci, Coast College, Communications, TV, radio
“A lot of instructors have the rule, no texting, no laptops, but one of the classes I teach is a sports media class so we’re using computers and phones to monitor sports events. I have no problem with it as long as it relates to class. But if they’re texting their boyfriend or girlfriend, I take 50 points off. If I were teaching speech or math, I’d definitely say no. I’d say 80 percent of the class is pretty good.”
Allison Camelot, South Orange Community College District, sociology
I have a no tolerance policy for texting. My policy is that I should not even see any cell phones. If a student is found texting he/she is first given a warning, the second time he/she is asked to leave the class. I tell my students that they need to “detox” from their phones while in my class.
Vivian Harris, Norco College, Public Speaking, Communications Studies
“I always tell students that I’m a text-a-holic. However, I’m able to put my phone on silent and put it away in my laptop bag during class time in order to give students my undivided attention so I expect them to do the same. I also let them know that they are welcome to use their phones before and after class as long as they put them away while class is in session. Fortunately, I usually don’t have any problems with students complying with my no-texting rule during class time. Thank goodness!”