Cells clash with class

Think back to the last lecture you attended. How often were your eyes on your phone and not on the professor?

“I won’t usually check my phone if it’s a small class, but I will check it if I get messages or Snapchats if I’m in a big lecture,” first-year Mike Werner said. “I mainly use it to communicate.”  Eighty-three percent of college students in America now own a smartphone, an 11 percent increase from the previous year, according to insidehighered.com.

“I don’t use my phone as a time-waster in class, but it does distract me from learning,” Werner said in regard to whether or not his phone affects his ability to stay engaged in lecture classes.

First-year Harly Pelletier had similar thoughts. “I usually just check it for the time or messages” Pelletier said. Smartphones have the potential to be used for much more than just time wasting, as 82 percent of college students report using their smartphone for school-related tasks, according to onlinedegrees.org.

Graduate student and chemistry teaching assistant Jenna Taft said it is a frustrating experience to lecture to students while they are on their phones. But Taft said she doesn’t have a problem with students using them during lab. As for prohibiting phone use, Taft said she doesn’t think banning phones during lab would be beneficial.

“I wouldn’t set a rule on it,” Taft said. “If the student feels capable enough with the material to go on their phone, I would rather have them texting than distracting other students in lab.” But when a student who is struggling in class is on their phone, Taft said that is a bit more frustrating. “But I wouldn’t set a rule over it,” she said.