Cell Phones In The Classroom: There's a Place For Them

On the first day of classes, I make sure that everyone knows that
cell phone use during class is NOT going to be allowed.  Not a text,
not a tune, nothing.

On day two, I backtrack just a bit and introduce them to the
county’s disaster alert program that residents and students can sign up
for with their cell phones.

On Friday, we were using Re:Writing Plus! and logged in for the
first time.  Except that not everyone was successful.  As I walked
around helping out the students, one of my students pulled out his cell
phone and dialed the 1-800 number for help.  At first I was amazed, but
then I shrugged and thought that it was an efficient way to deal with
the problem.

Today, two of my deaf students were arranging to have other students
take notes for them.  Instead of relying on the interpreter, they (deaf
and hearing) decided to text each other later.  During class, one of
the students texts the person sitting next to him if he needs something. — Joanna Howard

I was once teaching a class in a computer lab, and when I heard typing in the middle of my lecture, I politely asked whoever it was to pay attention. A voice from the back of the room, sounding somewhat hurt, said, “I was taking notes.”  A few years later, I was attending a faculty workshop, and I was typing while the leader was talking. What she was saying was inspiring — I wanted to get it all down.  “Could the typing please stop?” she asked.  I knew just how my student felt.

So I’m more likely to give students the benefit of the doubt.