Universities want to ban cell phone use during class, due to concerns of cheating on tests. Google and other companies have services that send text messages from the Web that make it extremely easy to cheat on tests. A particular service called ChaCha allows users to text any question to a network of people who will answer it within minutes.
James M. Burns, a supplemental-faculty member of the English department at the University of Delaware, found out about ChaCha through his college-aged son. Burns has no proof of his students using the network. Concerned about students using ChaCha, Burns sent an e-mail to the faculty at the University of Delaware explaining the service. Instructors at the university are reconsidering their classroom policies.
Neumann College in Aston, Pa., has the Vice President for Academic Affairs Gerard P. O’Sullivan worried about cell phones being present in class due to the service.
Administrators are now re-considering a new policy restricting cell phones during class.
Bryan Janowski, sophomore elementary education major, said, “I think it is appropriate to have your phone on vibrate in a bag or pocket for emergency purposes. Your phone shouldn’t be on your desk while taking a test; it just enables us to cheat.”
Other university administrators don’t want to ban cell phone use during class because it would conflict with the emergency-alert text message system.
At Temple University, the emergency-alert system is one reason why they encourage students to leave their phones on vibrate during class.
When asked if cell phones should be banned from class, Chris Holland, senior accounting and international business major, said, “I think that as much it might help students concentrate more, I think students might be mad if they banned cell phones in class. Sometimes I am waiting for an important phone call and I need to answer, I can just walk out of class and get the notes later from BB Vista.”
O’Sullivan suggested to professors at Neumann College to make a compromise like prohibiting students from making phone calls or texting out during class, but allowing them to have their phones on vibrate mode.
Megan McCormick, junior marketing major, said, “Cell phones shouldn’t be banned from class. We have other responsibilities as well as personal issues that they have to take care of, just as much as our academics. Without cell phones it will have a big impact on the student’s responsibilities outside of the classroom.”