Check Your Baggage (and Your Cellphone) at the Door

Social Media in the Classroom: Is it Okay?

Freshman Austin Wickwire and Paige Durand scroll through their social media profiles while in the Allen Theater.

Brogan Falls

Freshman Austin Wickwire and Paige Durand scroll through their social media profiles while in the Allen Theater.

Brogan Falls, News Editor

Social media plays a huge role in society today. We are able to access, send, and share information to anyone in astonishing time. While social media may not be fit for a classroom setting, students are typically reluctant to put aside their mobile devices entirely to listen to their instructors. Because of this, social media is often the center of disputes about whether or not it should be allowed in the classroom.

Padyne Durand, a student at Allen Community College, gave her opinion on the matter.

“I feel it is a better way to get information to the students considering that students check their social media more than they check Blackboard or their email,” said Durand. “However, students will focus more on social media rather than listen to their teachers during classes.”

Durand shared her overall opinion saying she thinks social media in the classroom does more harm than good.

I think the distractions of having social media in a classroom outweigh the benefits of having it there.

— Padyne Durand

Joie Whitney, a sophomore at the college, expressed the benefits of social media in a classroom environment.

“It is great for keeping in touch with other students for group projects,” said Whitney. “However, social media has a lot of advertisements and notifications that can be distracting to deal with.”

Students are not the only ones that have varied opinions on the situation. Communications instructor Terri Piazza gave a very insightful opinion about social media being both a constructive and disruptive tool.

“I believe that social media can be helpful; however, it is limited in its effectiveness,” she explained.

Piazza shared many examples of which social media can be used, including for  research. She also stated that social media is best used outside of a classroom setting.

“We have become too dependent on having this much access, not necessarily to technology, but to information,” said Piazza.

Piazza explained that if one student gets a notification on their phone it does not only affect the student who gets it, but it also distracts students near them. A simple “ding” of a text tone or a “buzz” of a notification can be enough to throw off the concentration of the students in class.

Piazza gave her final verdict on the situation, stating, “I discourage the use of social media in the classroom, unless it has been specifically developed as a teaching and learning tool.”

Social media is a luxury in today’s society, but it must be handled carefully. The ability to gather information from practically anywhere in the world may be great in itself, but students should be focused on obtaining information given out by their instructors. Students are urged to give their attention to their instructors during classes without having to attend to their phones. It is better to gain the information that will help you with your future rather than focus on the notification they can check later.