Are app-based systems a distraction in college classrooms?

“I know the idea of bringing your own device is becoming more prominent, but I still think pulling out a phone, tablet or laptop is distracting. You always lose students for a measurable amount of time, and that’s the primary concern.”

Dwight Farris, instructional technologist, The University of Arizona

“The reality is, students are going to have their smartphones out in class. If they’re using them for a poll, the instructor knows how many students are participating. We’ve found that if faculty assign them to do something with a smartphone, the response is very different than it is from simply allowing smartphones to be present in the space with no direction.”

Amy Chase Martin, director of faculty development and instructional media, Howard Community College (Maryland)

“By the time students get to my class, they’re in their seventh year of university and tired of clickers. Future health science professionals will be increasingly dependent on whatever devices they carry, and I want them to understand that their phones, laptops or tablets are useful. Also, health science is not a multiple-choice discipline, and I want them to be able to express anonymous opinions on the screen.”

John August, dean of faculties and associate provost, Texas A&M University


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