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November 18, 2015

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Local university bans students from using smartphones in class

STUDENTS at a local university have been banned from using their smartphones in class in a bid to improve teaching (and learning) efficiency.

The rule was introduced last month at the School of Art, Design and Media at East China University of Science and Technology in Fengxian District.

Students are asked to hand in their phones at the start of each class and can collect them when the lesson ends.

“The policy was introduced to improve efficiency after teachers noticed students were always looking at their phones instead of concentrating on the class,” a student affairs director of the school, who asked not to be named, told Shanghai Daily.

Sophomore student and class monitor Lu Yuyi said that while she and her classmates were against the rule at first — some refused to hand in their phones — they have gradually got used to it.

“We used to use our phones to search the Internet for pictures and other ideas to incorporate within our deigns,” she said.

“But without them, we’re more likely to ask each other for opinions and that creates more discussion.”

Ren Youqun, vice president of East China Normal University, said that while he understands the thinking behind the ban, he feels it’s maybe the tutors, rather than the students, who need to change.

“Information technology will be increasingly applied to education and lecturers need to change their way of teaching to adapt to the information era,” he said.

“Maybe we should be asking our students to use IT to acquire basic information and knowledge for themselves.

“The teachers’ role can then be to stimulate discussion and present seminars that help the students to take their understanding to a deeper level,” he said.


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