Phoning It In
Whoa. Stop the presses. A new study by Rutgers researchers shows that students who have access to cellphones and laptops during class - for non-academic purposes - have lower grades than those who don’t.
Geez. And some of us thought that checking Facebook in physics class would help students better understand the uncertainty principle.
Worse, the researchers found that "students who didn’t use a device but were in the same classroom with those who did also scored lower. This was likely due to distraction from surrounding devices."
Here’s something you may not know unless you’re a public high school teacher: Most kids have their cellphones in class. And despite rules that they must be powered down during the school day, they’re all on.
“No kids, to my knowledge, keep their phones off,” one teacher told me recently. “Ever.”
Imagine trying to teach a class with 30 knuckleheads surreptitiously looking at their laps and checking Snapchat.
Teachers will tell you there isn’t enough time to check to see if all phones are off. And if they’re off, they can be turned right back on. Such vigilance would trigger a classroom game of Whack-A-Phone.
One teacher told me that when parents are notified that their kid has a phone addiction these nitwits often beg the teacher to confiscate the phone.
When the teacher suggests the parents keep the phone at home, they balk.
There's only one reason for such timidity: These parents are afraid of their children. They desperately want their offspring to like them. They’d rather let the teacher be the bad guy than act like an adult and take their brats’ phones away.
As long as that’s the parental attitude, grades will suffer.
Fine. America needs fast food workers.
Trouble is, even McDonald's frowns on burger flipping with a phone in one hand.