There are certainly different types of view on the usage of technology or the extent of allowable usage time of electronic devices (laptop or cellphones) in the classrooms. Although the use of technology is becoming more and more prevalent nowadays, there are instructors which make policies (like no mobile phone use) as they find it respectful to the instructor and other students.
As someone who is more on the side of advocating technology use in class, I must admit there are disadvantages associated with the technology use. Especially, in situations where we lose interest in following a lecture (or find it boring for whatever reason), then it becomes more and more tempting to check Facebook, Instagram, or do some online shopping. Given the appealing nature of these social media, we might get completely disconnected from the class and that’s where this could be a major challenge for the instructor to tackle. On the other hand, I believe there are many positive sides as well. There have been many situations for me when the instructor brings a new subject (or a terminology) which I was not aware of before and googling about them showed to a quick way for me to get the needed information.
In my opinion, as technology gets more and more advanced, its role in our classrooms would be more highlighted in the future and strict policies fro forbidding technology use might not be the best idea. Therefore, I believe establishing some rules for technology use would be a possible solution to avoid distraction. For example, using devices once in a while would be acceptable and helpful unless it becomes frequent. In addition, I don’t always see the distraction as a consequence of technology use. If a student is not following the lecture, forbidding the technology use will not necessarily result in the desired outcome (increased attentiveness), and this is more related to the student’s perspective on in what capacity the technology is used for (either getting more connected to the class (+) or web surfing (-)).