When I ask the students why they are so attached to their devices with the small (some aren’t so small) screens, I invariably get the response, “It’s my life.”
I just don’t get it and probably never will, but here is my attempt at understanding. After careful observation, I have determined that the cell phones are analogous to what happened when the Walkman first appeared on the scene for the older generation. A Walkman was a portable cassette player that sometimes came with a radio.
Students could conveniently take their music with them and also conveniently tune out any undesirable noise. Within this cocoon of music, students feel safe and protected. “I study better with my music” is a frequent response to “Please take the earbuds out.” It doesn’t matter how much research you share about the brain not being able to focus on more than one thing at a time, as soon as you turn your back, the earbuds will be back in.
They even have hoodies with built-in earbuds instead of drawstrings so that the students can wall themselves off with little chance of detection. They have thousands of songs on their playlist. It seems like an appendage to their bodies (as with many adults, as well).
Are you tired of seeing students text each other while sitting side by side? Lol. Or how about the sly student who is writing with pen at his desk while texting with the other hand under the desk? Are you frustrated by the text language and spelling that creeps into student assignments? Who are they texting? Is it other students that should be paying attention in class? I was shocked when I looked at my son’s texting count — over five thousand in one month! That’s roughly one text for every three minutes he was awake. For some students that is a low number.
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