Blog Post #406:  Nomophobia – NO MObile phone PHOBIA – Cell phones in the classroom

Blog Post #406:  Nomophobia – NO MObile phone PHOBIA – Cell phones in the classroom

Taken from:

Do you feel lost without your cell phone (aka “phone”)?  Do you use it for your GPS, email, web browsing, Facebook, calculator, games, calendar, alarm clock, watch, maps, Twitter, music player, and so much more?  Do you feel almost ‘naked’ without it?

Today’s article says:

“ Nomophobia is a term describing a growing fear in today’s world — the fear of being without a mobile device, or beyond mobile phone contact. Among today’s high school and college students, it’s on the rise. An increasing number of college students now shower with their cell phone. The average adolescent would rather lose a pinky-finger than a cell phone. A growing percentage text or tweet instead of actually talking to others.”

WOW – the fear of being without a mobile device!!!  

How might that apply to students?  

  • If you are a teacher – do you have students who can’t ‘live’ without their cell phones (and check them when they think you aren’t looking)??
  • If you are a teacher – do you check YOUR phone when students are working on projects or taking tests?
  • If you are a student – do you sneak a look when you can?
  • If you are a student – would you rather ‘lose a pinky-finger than your cell phone’?  
  • If you are a student or a teacher – do you shower with your phone?

If so, you might have Nomophobia!!!!  

I have a professor friend that assigned a project to students – to go one whole day without technology.  (I think she meant without laptop computers, cell phones, Alexa (or other such device – like Google Echo), game consoles, etc.  If your toaster had a computer chip to make your morning toast just the way you like it, you can still use your toaster). The students did learn about themselves in the assignment, and many probably found out they had Nomophobia!!

It does seem that way-too-many people (and students) do have Nomophobia!!!  

But, here is another view:  taken from:

In this article “Why banning cellphones in schools missed the point” the author says: “I found that when schools attempted a blanket policy, invariably, it was unenforceable. Teachers and students developed workarounds.”

This second article suggests that teachers (like parents) develop “eyes in the back of their heads”.  If students are using their cell phones responsibly and are working on their assignments, then – cell phone usage is okay.  This author (a professor and director of students teaching) says that effective teaching is as much about relationships and trust and less about cell phones.

In my last 16 years of college teaching, students were expected to bring laptops to class.  We did things on the computers for many periods, but there were also times when I wanted to make a point and asked my students to close their laptop lids.  Even prior to laptops in the classroom, there were many times when I taught classes in computer labs. Some students violated the concept by texting, looking at Facebook or social media, and not paying attention.  [My disclaimer: I was teaching college – a whole different work that K-12 education].


So, back to the basic question – are you a Nomophobia person?  Can you live without your cell for a few hours? Can you also discern if you need the technology at that point in time?  

And … for educators … I agree with the second author – you need to build a relationship.  Asking (and expecting) students to put away their phones when you need to do a lesson (even if they are nomophobia addicts) is part of that learning process.

Balance, respect, relationships – all part of the teaching equation in my view.

BUT … I am NOT done on this topic – MORE TOMORROW!!!!

What do you think?


Posted by Bruce White

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