Experimenting on my Students: A Cure for my “Cell Phones in the Classroom” Rage

11 Jan

The Phone Stack is a brilliant and fun idea for a group of friends out to dinner, whereby everyone puts his or her phone on the table and whoever goes for it first, pays the check. I LOVE it, because I hate myself when I realize I’m sitting, having a conversation with someone AND checking my emails, in part because, 1. it’s rude, 2. because I wasn’t able to recall the instance I picked up my phone and began checking emails, and 3. because this idea has so many other possibilities for use.

Family dinner for one. However, my son is not even a year old, and while we do all eat dinner together, we are so involved in feeding him and ourselves, that out iPhones stay away. So, I will catalogue this idea for future reference.

In the meantime, I am definitely going to try something like this with my students this semester! Their incessant texting under the desk drives me up a wall. I’m a pretty laid back professor, but my uber-rage turns on when I see the glances into the lap and the thumb typing. And, when I call them out, it’s usually like, “Wha?” I have tried a number of things to get them to stop, but it really is a disturbing compulsion. Kids. Seriously! Draw in your notebook! Write a note to your boyfriend! Freakin’ zone out and daydream.

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Sometimes I long for simpler times.

So, I think this will be a fun social experiment and maybe they can then police themselves I hate policing when I’m trying to take about story arc and immediacy in storytelling.

But, what should be the penalty for the person/people who go for their phones? It can’t be something that punishes the whole class and it’s got to be something that others would want someone else to have to do. Like picking up the tab at a restaurant. Teachers? Students? What do you think?

Be reasonable! Or don’t. I like ridiculous suggestions, too!

2 Responses to “Experimenting on my Students: A Cure for my “Cell Phones in the Classroom” Rage”

  1. Nicole January 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Coming from an educator who made a junior high boy hold her hand on a walk today (“if you handle yourself like a child, i will have to hold your hand…”) this thought may not hold too much sway, but perhaps everyone should take a moment at the start of class to, together, turn their phones off and place them on top of their desks/tables, in full view of the rest of the class? so there can be no under-the-table texting?

  2. Apryl January 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I really like that hand-holding as punishment, Nicole! I will have to try this next cell phone approach Yes, definitely something where they all have to do it at the same time! Thanks for commenting!

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