By Bria Overs
Last semester was my first here at California State University, Dominguez Hills. As a transfer student, I was very surprised to find out that the communications department has a technology ban in every class. No cell phone, tablets, laptops or anything electronic can be used by students without instructor permission.
My surprise turned to anger because I had just bought an iPad and Apple Pencil for school. That’s a lot of money to spend on something you can’t use.
So far, from what I understand, the communications department is the only one at CSUDH with the ban, which carries a grade reduction for repeated offenses. It seems ironic, since we’re a department with classes such as electronic journalism and the digital toolkit, and we’ve even had a social media and marketing course.
“I mean, all teachers say no phones and step out if you have to, but I think we’re the only ones penalized for it in all our classes,” said Mia Lopez, a communications major.
Now, I’m going to have to apologize to everyone who hates the tech ban because I like this whole “no technology” rule. (Only a little though.)
Two weeks ago, after sitting through about eight hours of classes, with very minimal breaks, I had a change of heart.
I realized that I had actually learned something, and, to be honest, I felt a sense of relief that my mind wasn’t being distracted by constant notifications from my phone.
With that said, it’s hard to not want to use my phone and laptop in class because, like many people, I really love my technology. Having had a phone since I was 7 years old, not being able to use technology is uncomfortable. Luckily, it’s become a lot more bearable since transferring.
I almost want to say that I look forward to my classes because it allows me to ignore all the people I don’t want to talk to, as well as avoid reading about the latest Kardashian news that I don’t care about. And the best part, I get my money’s worth when it comes to my education.
Now, I strongly believe that “it’s our education, we can do what you want with it” but, I also believe in using as many opportunities as possible to learn something new. Unfortunately, I find that technology doesn’t always help us do that.
We have access to the entire world and many of us, including me, don’t always use our phones to learn something new. As a society, we tend to use it as a way to show off how cool we want to seem or just to procrastinate.
The tech ban could use some real work. Such as professors letting students know about the policy ahead of time and to not buy the electronic version of a textbook. I highly recommend professors allow for 15-minute tech breaks, too.
Oh, and especially this:
PROFESSORS: KEEP YOUR LECTURES INTERESTING!
I can’t stress this enough. I think we can all agree that it’s really hard to want to listen to a professor if they’re boring the class. Here’s my suggestion; try making the class more interactive. You can even add in a little technology, just to ease everyone’s nerves.
Anyway, fellow students, just follow the policy rules. It’s not worth the grade deduction and you might find that it has more benefits than not.