Good Phone, Bad Phone

By Victor Jube, Kapi‘o Staff Writer /

As a busy student, the first thing I do when I get to class is reach into my pocket and whip out my iPhone to take a quick relaxing stroll through. I am guilty of this easy distraction, but without my smartphone I also would not be able to access Laulima and check assignment deadlines and recent gradebook updates.

Good Phones, Bad Phones

Good Phones, Bad Phones. Photo by Victor Jube

I wouldn’t be able to check my email to see if class has been cancelled or take a quick snapshot of the immensely detailed PowerPoint slide that my professor displayed to the class for a whopping five seconds. There are numerous ways that my phone keeps me in check with my career at Kapi‘olani Community College; without it, college would be much more difficult and stressful.

I’m not alone in my thinking. When I asked fellow student Monica Bailey for her take, she said that smartphones were “a great way to accomplish things.”

“I had a professor before who made everyone in class take their phone out and research a question he had asked,” she said. “He gave us 10 minutes to do research and when we were finished, we put our phones away. It was cool!”

This is a great example of how instructors can make creative and engaging use of smartphone technology that their students are already using.

My uncle, Hawai‘i Pacific University microbiology professor Sandro Jube sees it differently.

“There is no need for students to use their phones for my classes,” he says. “All the information my students need is given to them and it is just too easy for students to get distracted during class. It would not be helpful at all and I do not support it.”

It’s true that smartphones could easily be a distraction during class, but if the teacher has the class’s attention and everyone is engaged, it is likely everyone will be interested and appreciative of this new method of learning. It could make class more fun, interesting, and different than the same old monotonous ways of teaching.

Our smartphones are special tools that allow us simple access to social media websites and extremely fun dynamic group messaging. We start each day with a pleasant alarm of our choosing followed by we can to conveniently access vital emails.

Computer technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate and is becoming more and more entwined with our everyday lives. This doesn’t mean that Instagram or Facebook have to be the face of the “Smartphone Era.” Instead, we should recognize that the continued development of smartphones marks a huge milestone in our ability to become more efficient human beings.