Texting can wait until after class

September 10, 2010 Commentary Print Print
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Students at OCCC and other college campuses have fallen into the habit of texting, and not just for its ease and convenience. It seems in every class at least one student feels the urge to tap their fingers and send a message, but why? For some, it seems to be a compulsion.

Philosophy major Jordan Sewell said he is guilty of sending texts during a lecture, but never really thought of it as rude.

“Yeah, I mean I never thought it was a big deal, and I am not trying to be rude, but it allows me to make plans for later while I am still in class,” Sewell said.

While most students do not think they are causing harm to anyone around them, they may be impairing themselves and other students in the class.

Most instructors consider texting during class to be a problem.

Philosophy Professor Greg Parks said he believes any activity that is not class related is a distraction, including cell phones.


Bonnie Campo

His policy is that a cell phone, or any other electronic device that is not being used to take notes, is off limits during class.

Parks said he believes that by using objects not affiliated with the course material, such as books from another class or cell phones, students are distracting themselves from the material that is being presented. Thus, he said, they are not receiving all they could from the instructor.

“If a student is caught using their device in class, they will lose the privilege of having them,” Parks said.

Sewell said he knows other professors on the campus who go as far as deducting points from the student’s grade after an initial warning.

Yet, it still raises the question of why students feel the need to text in class.

What is the urgency? Why do they not consider it to be discourteous to their professor or the students sitting next to them?

If it’s a situation where a student in the armed forces must carry a phone at all times, or a parent with a sick child, there might be a reason for a cell phone during class time. Yet, those who use their devices in that event can still exit the room and be considerate of those in the learning environment.

The practice of texting in class has persisted to the point of being accepted as normal behavior by some students. That’s unfortunate.

Before a person hits “send,” it would be advantageous to remember that every student in that room came with the intent of receiving an education and every professor with a lesson plan.

The text message can wait. Be courteous and respectful now.

Staff Writer Bonnie Campo can be reached at staffwriter1@occc.edu

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