Social media has been a topic of interest among students and faculty on the BYU-Idaho campus.
According to a study done by Steve Jones, on the Education Resources Information Center website, 42 percent of college students say they use the Internet primarily to communicate socially.
Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and blogs are considered social media.
Recently, the usage of these mediums in the classroom have been debated.
The BYU-I Classroom Policy states, “Generally, laptops are to be down in class unless instructed otherwise by faculty. The electronic device policy addresses this issue by empowering the faculty to decide when it is appropriate to use a laptop in class.”
Faculty and student opinions differ on this subject.
“I don’t pay attention whether I’m using Facebook or not. It keeps me awake. If I’m not using it, I’m falling asleep, so at least I’m paying half attention,” said Ariel Judd, a junior studying business management.
Yet school administrators debate that this should not be the case if the class is running as it should be.
“If you’re using the Learning Model, everyone will be engaged. The instructor will be bringing something new to discuss every five to seven minutes. Students should be completely engaged,” said Ric Page, associate academic vice president.
The Learning Model encourages students to take charge of their education, according to www.byui.edu/about/defining-aspects/learning-model.
The Learning Model, as outlined by the Academic Discovery Center’s website, consists of three steps: prepare, learn and teach, and ponder and prove.
“Students believe they can multitask. There is no such thing as multitasking. You can’t switch back and forth, so if you’re on social media, you’re less attentive,” said Karen Holt, a faculty member in the English department.
Holt teaches in a lab classroom that she has arranged so she can monitor all of the screens while teaching.
“It’s the minority who are doing those things in class. The majority comes to class focused, attentive and ready to learn,” Holt said.
BYU-I encourages students to have laptops through the laptop initiative in order to improve their learning experiences.
“Nearly four-fifths of college students (79 percent) agree that Internet use has had a positive impact on their college academic experience,” according to Jones’ study.