Michael J. Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University and author of“Facing the Facebook” in The Chronicle of Higher Education, states that the initial purpose of having access to the Internet in the classroom was to give students the opportunity to conduct research. However, this privilege is rapidly being used as a means for students to not pay attention during class. A poll was taken at Iowa State University where 20,247 out of the 25,741 enrollees were registered on Facebook (Bugeja 1). Social networking sites such as Facebook have had some negative effects in academia such as “institutions seeking to build enrollment learn that ‘technology’ rates higher than ‘rigor’ or ‘reputation’” (2), that there has been improper use of the freedom to use technology in the classroom, that employers and parents check Facebook to see what users have been doing, and that technology is an overall distraction in the classroom.
The situation revolving around these sites is not likely to clear up any time soon; in fact, as freshmen enter higher education institutions, more activity regarding social networking will take place. Christine Rosen, “a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington” (2), said that the amount of freedom and control that technology gives us also provides a direct route for marketers to advertise products to these users. In addition, she says that college administrators use Facebook as a means of snooping around to find evidence of illegal activity of students. Many of these administrators and employers also create fake profiles in order to conduct these investigations, although, as spokesman for Facebook Chris Hughes says, creating a fabricated profile is against the “Terms of Service” (4) for the site.
Hughes is not concerned about the improper use of technology because visiting sites such as Facebook are not the only distractions that come with the use of Internet in a classroom. Students are able to go on various sites and check their email or chat. Hughes adds that instructors can remove Internet connections from the classroom in order to restrain the students from being disrupted during class. In today’s time, having the ability to use Internet during class-time has posed as a great distraction and has also caused a decrease in school performance.
I believe that having the use of Internet in the classrooms is in fact a distraction because it lures the students’ attention away from the lecture. In the article, Bugeja talks about how John Curtis, a research director at the American Association of University Professors, believes that the investment in internet-use has cost schools around the nation either the jobs of faculty members or increased tuition rates: “We often hear...