Study reveals why we find other people’s cell phone conversations annoying

You may want to think twice before using your cell phone in the library,  computer lab, or classroom.  A series of experiments conducted at Cornell University found that college students made more errors when completing tasks when listening to one-sided conversations (cell phones) when compared to two-sided conversations. Lead study author, Lauren Emberson, explains “Much of how humans process language is based on the brain’s ability to predict, or anticipate, what comes next in a sentence. One-sided conversations make it more difficult for the brain to make these predictions, so listening is more distracting.” Emberson’s research will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal, Psychological Science. To read more about this study, click here.  In light of this research, please be considerate of others and make every effort to turn off your cell phone while in public places.  Your fellow students will appreciate you for following JSRCC’s Learning Environment Principles.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “The Campus in the Palm of Your Hand describes how cell phone services are being used on college and university campuses as a way for faculty, staff, and students to communicate with one another.  As college and university administrators realize that cellphones are the best, and often the only way to reach their students, a growing number of campuses have implemented cell phone services on campus with companies such as Rave Wireless.  

Some of the many cell phone applications allow faculty, staff, and students to check and send e-mail and text messages from their phones, access Blackboard, review homework assignments, give quizzes, get text messages about campus events or registration deadlines, receive alerts about campus safety, access campus maps, and track shuttle buses.   Because these wireless services are still in the pilot project phase, there have been issues such as not getting complete coverage on campus or how to entice students to sign up.

What cell phone applications do you think would be useful or not useful for faculty, staff, and students?  Do you think this use of technology weakens or strengthens a sense of campus community?  Feel free to post your comments.