Students are accessing cell phones every day for several hours and even during classes. As teachers, can we use this media to enhance our teaching? Dr S Ramkumar and Mr D V Sivaji explore the issue in this blog.
Dr S Ramkumar is Professor and Head of Veterinary Extension at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research (RIVER), Puducherry, India. He also serves as the Director of Entrepreneurship Development Cell, Department of Industries, Government of Puducherry (Email: email@example.com).
Mr D V Sivaji is doing his second year of Masters in Veterinary Extension at RIVER. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
I appreciate the efforts of Prof. Ramkuamr and Dr. Sivaji for bringing out very good and interesting findings of the survey they conducted on the use of mobile phones by the students. The study revealed that the main reasons the students gave for using cell phones during lectures are • the sessions are not interesting enough • sometimes they use it to keep awake during lectures and • occasionally when they cant understand what is being taught. All these three reasons reflect upon the teachers. Unless the teachers make the class room teaching interesting and focus on student oriented methods, the students will naturally find their ways of using their time including the use of mobile phones in the class room most probably for non academic activities. In my personal view the use of mobile phones by the students in the class room will distract their neighbors. One can argue that any tool needs to be used judiciously and it is possible to exploit its potentiality as a learning tool. But whether our teachers, students and administrators are ready for this ? I feel what is being used as a learning tool is not that important compared to how it is used. I congratulate the authors for coming out with interesting findings of the preliminary study they conducted in Puducherry.
Its hard or stark reality that only 10% of the students (20 out of 203) responded that they do not use cell phone at all during lectures/classes. 103 students affirmed using a cell phone during lectures/classes. 80 students did not respond to this question.It may not be palatable to many teachers with conventional mindset, but it would be simply an ostrich syndrome to ignore the trend. We cant think of restricting the use of cell phone as it may not work but it could be good strategy to make use of it. So is the blog all about -wonderfully written based on actual survey of the students. Congratulations! Dr Ram Kumar & Shivaji for thinking on the lines none thought so far!