Plenty of research has found that using cellphones in class – for non-class related purposes – hurts academic achievement (see The Best Posts On Student Cellphone Use In Class — Please Contribute More).
In fact, recent studies conclude that just having the cellphone out where you can see it, even if you don’t use it, is damaging (see New Study On Cellphones Helpful To Teachers Everywhere and Best Article Ever To Have Students Read About Cellphones!).
Another related study was released within the past few days, and has been getting a fair amount of attention. The focus has been on the conclusion that students using their cellphones (or laptops) in class for social reasons end up losing half a grade on final exams.
I doubt if that is a surprise to anybody.
Interestingly, though, they found it was damaging even to students who didn’t use their electronic devices for non-academic reasons during class:
I’ll be adding this info to The Best Resources On Developing A Sense Of Community In The Classroom, where I have other resources I’m using for lessons to help students realize their behavior affects classmates.
I just completed a training for campus administrator and am grabbing some lunch before going back so I decided to read this article and had an “ah ha” moment. We had two sessions this morning and while the content was the same the two sessions were like night and day. In session 1 the majority of the administrators did not take out their laptops, phones etc. and the room quickly became a shared learning space. As a matter of fact, we didn’t complete the planned content. During the next session most administrator were on devices. Some were following along on the site we were exploring, some were taking notes, some were multi-tasking but the room never came together as a community. Coincidence? I think not.