As students head off to college with cell phones in hand, universities are wrestling with the issue of how to cope with high-tech temptations in the classroom, reports the Tennessean. Some teachers ban cell phones and laptops on sight. Others figure: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. At Middle Tennessee State University, history professor Janice Leone usually starts the semester with a word about cell phones—and that word is usually “no.” “They’re used to looking at it constantly. I’ve seen students actually text without looking, with their hands in their pockets,” said Leone, who sees the devices as more of a distraction than a temptation to cheat. “I have colleagues who tell their students, ‘If I see a cell phone, I’ll dock you 10 points.’ Others will say, ‘If I see a cell phone during a test, I’m assuming you’re cheating.'” MTSU, which has the largest undergraduate student population in the state, sees about 150 or so cases of academic misconduct each year, said assistant dean of student life Laura Sosh-Lightsy. About 10 to 20 of them will involve cheating with the help of a cell phone……Read More
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Study: Cell-phone bans don’t reduce accidents
A new study suggests laws banning the use of handheld devices while driving have not reduced the rate of accidents in three states and the District of Columbia, CNN reports. In addition to the nation’s capital, the report by the Highway Loss Data Institute reviews insurance claims in New York, Connecticut, and California. It also compares the data to other areas that do not have cell-phone bans. “The laws aren’t reducing crashes, even though we know that such laws have reduced handheld phone use, and several studies have established that phoning while driving increases crash risk,” said Adrian Lund, president of the Highway Loss Data Institute. According to the study, the crash rates in the nation’s capital were the same as in Virginia and Maryland, which don’t have laws limiting the use of cell phones while driving. Increased rates of crashes when drivers use hand-held cell phones have been well documented, so it’s unclear why the four jurisdictions’ accident rates did not mirror the trend after their cell phone bans took effect.
Lund said the Highway Loss Data Institute is trying to determine why the ban does not have an impact on the rate of accidents. One of the options is that drivers in jurisdictions that ban cell phones while driving may be resorting to using hands-free devices, whose accident rates are the same as handheld devices, he said. The study comes as efforts to teach students about the dangers of cell-phone use while driving are increasing…