First of all, thanks to everyone that responded. The information you provided will be very helpful.

Second, I need to mention that surveys continued to come in after the deadline for the article on this topic that will appear in the Santa Maria Times on November 29, so there may be some small discrepancies in the results you see here and what is in the article.

I surveyed my students on this topic as well, asking them similar (but not identical) questions.

A few observations on the results:

While 60% of the teachers who responded stated unequivocally that they do not allow cellphones in class while they are teaching, 66% of the students surveyed replied that they check their phone messages or texts while in class, and 59% admit to texting in class. And while 95% of the teachers say that cellphones are a distraction in the classroom, only 45% of students think they are. Students, with a 100% yes response, say that they use electronic devices such as cellphones, tablets, and laptops, in their academic work. Also interesting was the response to question 6: Less than half of those instructors who responded (49%) make use of the technology available for use in the classroom, such as smart boards, and 36% say they do not.

Now for the results:


1)    Do you allow cellphones or other electronic devices in class while you are teaching?

60% no, 38% yes, and 2% not applicable.

2)    Do you allow students to do research or other related activity while you are teaching or during class time?

65% no, 30% yes, and 5% not applicable.

3)    Opinion is divided over the impact of the latest technology on education. Do you see cellphones, tablets and laptops as part of the educational process positively, negatively, or no opinion:

60% positive, 30% negative, and 10% no opinion.

4)    Do you think cellphones, tables, and laptops are or can be useful teaching tools?

77% yes, 13% no, and 6% no opinion.

5)    Do you think cellphones are a distraction to the students while they are in class?

95% yes, 5% no.

6)    Do you make use of the technology available in the classroom, such as “smart” boards?

49% yes, 36% no, 15% not applicable.


1)    Do you use any of the following electronic devices in your academic work?

Cellphone, Tablet or Laptop

Yes: 100%.

2)    If you use any of these devices, would you say they were:

Essential, Somewhat Essential, or Not Essential

95% essential or somewhat essential, 5% not essential.

3)    Do you check phone messages or text messages during class?

66% yes, 34% no.

4)    Do you ever text during class?

59% yes, 41% no.

5)    Do you think cellphones are a distraction in class?

45% yes, 34% no, 21% no opinion.

6)    Do you think technology is important to education?

89% yes, 3% no, 9% no opinion.

It would be interesting to see what these results would be if the entire student population was to be surveyed, rather than the two classes that I teach.

Some representative comments:


“Used wisely, technology can boost learning and productivity; used inappropriately, technology leads to poor habits, poor academic performance, and wasted time.”

“I believe that if used appropriately, technology can be a highly effective research and training tool.”

“I use the smart board all the time. I enjoy using power point slides, word, and you tube videos relative to the business top, lecture, and class participation.”


“I have checked text messages in class, but only if it is important.”

“Students should be able to decide if they want to pay attention or not, it is their grade.”

“For me technology is really important and essential because we do most of our work with it.”

Once again, thanks everyone.

Mark James Miller, President, Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College, CFT Local 6185, Santa Maria, CA