Smartphones have become a central part of the lives of many school-going youths. It is not just the young and the school going but people across all ages. The young and the old all alike get the same effect when it comes to smartphones. Students are more affected because of how they use these devices in classrooms. The purpose of this report is to investigate how students use their smartphones and give recommendations on the appropriate use of cellphones in the university.
The emergence of smartphones has brought unprecedented convenience. These devices have facilitated communication, mobile banking, and easy access to learning material etc. These smartphones also come with other features that when not properly used can have their users distracted. University students can use smartphones responsibly by using them to access learning materials from the internet. They can also be irresponsible with these devices when they play games and watch videos in class.
According to Alfawareh and Jusoh (2014), studies conducted at Najran University in Saudi Arabia investigated the use of smartphones among university students. The study population of this study was university students from various academic levels and programs. This study compared normal smartphone usage to usage of smartphones for learning. The findings of this study show that majority (75.2%) of these students use smartphones for normal smartphone usage purposes like browsing the website, social media activities, taking pictures and downloading apps and software etc. The highest percentage of usage of smartphones for learning purposes only indicated logging on to the university student portal to check their academic status. These students, however, didn’t use their smartphones to access online learning resources, therefore, suggesting that students are not using their smartphones to support their learning activities.
All university students alike mostly fall under the category as those at Najran University when it comes to smartphone usage. Grinols and Rajesh (2014), suggest that the use of smartphones in class presents a typical case of multitasking where students have to work on their class tasks and also their smartphones. However, smartphones have a unique feature that has the ability to divert student alert from classwork to checking notifications every time thy click and pop-up.
For this reason, it is imperative to discuss the options that students have as far as having smartphones in class is concerned. When having smartphones in class, students could be provided with educational apps that would help them access more learning material. In this way, students would be more motivated to learn since they can now access learning material. Another option is to have lesson instructors restrict the use of smartphone devices during class time. The university should also limit access to Wi-Fi and internet services provided by the institutions during class time so that students can have time to focus on class work and not get distracted by notifications on their phones (Grinols and Rajesh, 2014)
As suggested by studies mentioned here, it is not good for students to have smartphones in class because they easily get distracted with their smartphones. Students also have the potential to use their smartphones for learning and educational purposes if they are supported to do so.
The instructors should recommend mobile applications that would enable the students to learn using their smartphones. They should also develop classroom policies restricting the use of smartphones while lecture sessions are ongoing. The university should limit Wi-Fi access during lecture hours and in lecture halls to avoid having students distracted by notifications.
Alfawareh, H. M., & Jusoh, S. (2014). Smartphones usage among university students: Najran University case. International Journal of Academic Research, 6(2).
Grinols, A. B., & Rajesh, R. (2014). Multitasking with smartphones in the college classroom. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 77(1), 89-95.