This morning, Rate Your Students posted an awfully good example of what that site is there to mock:
I’m sure others out there are experiencing my pain when it comes to professors and the obnoxious policies they implement regarding cell phone usage during lecture. In the past, I’ve tolerated their dictatorship like authority and snuck messages under the desk or behind my laptop, but that era is over. In my latest course, the professor thinks he has the right to automatically deduct 10% of a students final grade for any single use of cell phones: that means texting, tweeting, facebooking, and the like.
It goes on into a long rant about students being consumers and universities of essentially being Target or Sears which just makes me laugh every time I hear it. The thing is, a 10% reduction on a final grade for what is essentially an etiquette issue does strike me as a tad dictatorial.
Personally, assuming I notice someone texting and it’s blatant enough to distract me, I’m in the “stop the lecture first to try to shame them” camp. If that doesn’t work and it hasn’t failed yet,* I’d just kick them out of the room. If students ignore the lecture, the bad grades should take care of themselves.
Either way, the comments on the original post are extremely interesting as professors and students are coming together on the Internet to discuss issues that they would never do in person. Isn’t technology grand?
* Or perhaps they’ve changed the angle of their head and moved the phone so far under the desk that I can’t see them text anymore. There’s no difference to me.