Posts tagged Education

I mean business. My new in-class texting policy.

The following policy is going in my future syllabi: 

Cell Phone Use Makes You the King/Queen of the Class

Overwhelmingly, communication and education scholars have shown that using cell phone technology in class interferes with learning (Williams, et al., 2011), promotes incivility (Schroeder & Robertson, 2008), is disruptive, and results in increased errors and decreased academic performance (Monk, et al., 2008)

Once class starts, you may not use your cell phone. If I see you using your phone, you will become the “King (or Queen) of the Class.” One space at the front of the room will be reserved for the King/Queen of the class. If I see somebody using a phone in class, I’ll ask him/her to sit in the royal seat and wear the royal crown. For the rest of the period, the King/Queen will regularly be called on to answer questions that I would normally direct to the entire class. After all, people who text during class must already be so comfortable with the material that they have the luxury to disengage in lecture and discussion. They are, in a manner of speaking, the “King” or “Queen” of the class. If the King/Queen fails to correctly answer three questions, he or she will be asked to leave for the rest of the period. Once asked to leave, the student forfeits his or her attendance and quiz credit for the day.

Monk, C. A., Trafton, J. G., & Boehm-Davis, D. A. (2008). The effect of interruption duration and demand on resuming suspended goals. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14, 299-313.

Schroeder, J. L., & Robertson, H. (2008). Civility in the college classroom. Association for Psychological Science Observer, 21. Retrieved April 18, 2012 from

Williams, J. A., Berg, H., Gerber, H., Miller, M., Cox D., Votteler, N., Carwile, D., & McGuire, M. (2011). “I get distracted by their being distracted”: The etiquette of in-class texting. Eastern Educational Journal, 40, 48-66.

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All this article proves is that overpaid administrators are totally out-of-touch with what educators actually DO. People like Levy talk out of both sides of their mouths, demanding higher pay for their “expertise” while diminishing the people who actually stand in front of classrooms and TEACH. The measure of his expertise is in his characterization of professorial workloads. In other words, this former university chancellor has no f’ing clue about the day-to-day mechanics of being a college educator. Ironically, people like Levy are the ones getting $100K raises while people who actually TEACH and CONDUCT RESEARCH are laid off, put on furlough, etc. Don’t even get me started on the salient shift from tenure-track lines to more affordable teaching costs, like the rise in temporary faculty. One need only check out the tenured/tenure-track density at many colleges around the country to realize that SOMEBODY is being over-paid NOT to teach but it certainly isn’t FACULTY.

On a related note, the vice chancellor of CSU (Gail Brooks) recently wrote all faculty, suggesting that we want too much in terms of pay, despite the fact that raises promised in our LAST contract were not honored, despite the fact that faculty went on furlough a couple of years ago (which resulted in a 10% reduction in our pay), despite the fact that BROOKS got a $74,000 RAISE (from $202K in 2007 to $276K).  FTR, her $74K raise is more than I make in a single year of work BEFORE TAXES.  Oh, and that total includes additional pay I receive from teaching SUMMER school AND winter inter-session. Moreover, her raises are backdropped by faculty and staff furloughs and broken contractual obligations.  

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