Should college campuses ban mobile technologies?
Remember what universities used to be like before the onslaught of personal technology in every classroom? Wyoming Catholic College does, and they are eager to bring their university back to a simpler time. Students are now required to turn in their cell phones to student leaders at the beginning of the semester. Students may access their phone for emergencies, and their phone is returned to them when they leave campus.
In addition, television and most websites are not permitted in WCC residence halls. Many students have been surprisingly amenable to these policies, claiming that the create a culture of “true friendship, true virtue, true study.” All of this is done in the name of improving academic success, but is it an efficacious strategy?
Many studies do show that limiting mobile technology in the education domain has a positive effect. Cell phone addiction, after all, is a near universal phenomenon, with many alarming trends:
30% of people admit to check their phones while dining with someone else.
40% check their phones on the toilet.
24% admit to checking their phones while driving.
9% check their phones during a religious service at a house of worship
54% check their phones “while lying in bed” — in the middle of the night, before going to bed, or as soon as they wake up.
On the other hand, implementing this policy at every university campus might be far more difficult. A study published in the Journal of Behavioral Addiction claimed that cell phone users undergo withdrawal symptoms on par with being separated from a romantic lover. Moreover, social activities are not the sole purpose of mobile technologies, and many use them for professional, artistic, educational, and other beneficial purposes.
We at Scholar Hero argue that the problem is not the technology itself; it’s the way that the technology is used. There are far too many apps and widgets for distracting, frivolous activities and not nearly enough for constructive ones. For this reason, our development team is driven to add more clarity and purpose to the IT sector before more campuses take away the means of access to our services.
What do you think? Is it better to change the technology or simply remove it altgether?