A quick internet search of “smartphone etiquette in class” will give you a fairly straightforward answer: don’t use your phone. But what if instructors could use smartphone technology to their advantage instead? A new article published in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly entitled “Multitasking With Smartphones in the College Classroom” examines the idea of using smartphones to help enhance students’ learning rather than interfere with it.
Although the concept of multitasking itself is under debate, smartphones do enable users to divert attention from the task at hand to nongermane matters. As smartphone use becomes pervasive, extending into our classrooms, educators are concerned that they are becoming a major distraction. Does multitasking with smartphones impede learning? Can they be used to enhance learning instead? This article reviews current literature, provides suggestions for further investigation, and proposes an approach to incorporate smartphone multitasking in the classroom to enhance learning.