Cell phones in classes

I generally don’t have a problem with my students using cell phones during lectures, but lately it’s been changing. I think it’s because I have come to terms that my students are adults and if they choose to text instead of listening to my lecture, that is their choice as long as it’s not bothering other students. However, this past week, I was discussing the order in which some paperwork needed to be done in and they were to be applying this order immediately after this discussion. I was getting frustrated because I knew that I did not have their attention and would be repeating myself after only a few minutes. As soon as I realized that their cellphone distraction was bothering me, I stopped talking and politely asked them to put them away. All three students looked up from their phones and were embarassed to find out that other students were also texting. They thought that they had been the only one not focused and seemed to think that it was okay if it was only them. I never saw another phone come out until the paperwork had been completed.

It seems that everyone assumes somebody else is teaching cell phone etiquette, in elementary school, in high school etc. but it’s obviously not being done.

It seems even basic etiquette is not understood.

This is a great article on cell phone etiquette: 15 rules to follow.


These seem very obvious to me, but not to everyone. I’m not sure who should be teaching cell phone etiquette, but somebody needs to. Do you think that this should begin at home, the same way that all good manners should begin and then be reinforced through school?




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