I wasn't sure if this should be in General Discussion, or in this forum. However, since it affects students and it depends on the classroom policy of the instructor, I thought it should be in here. This is something many of us instructors have to deal with, something that was never an issue when I was still in college. Students now come to class equipped with notebook laptop, tablets, and of course, the ubiquitous cellphones. Different instructors have different policy on the use of the electronics, ranging from an outright ban, to "I don't care if you use these during class session as long as you don't distract or annoy other fellow students". The central issue here is whether the use of these devices that is not related to the lesson, i.e. these devices being a distraction during class, affects the performance of the students. This new study out of Rutgers University looked into just that. So not only are students using these devices during class tend to get a lower grade than those who didn't, but students in the same class who did NOT use these devices during class seem to also suffer from a collateral damage. It's like 2nd hand smoke! How nasty is that?! The full paper can be found here. Now note that these are the use of such electronic devices that are not related to the lesson at hand. Certainly, there are many instructors who do use these devices as part of their lessons, and these, presumably, are not a distraction to the students since they are part of the classroom lesson. I have used PhET applets during class with the students to illustrates many lessons on various topics, so my students do being their computers/tablets/phones to class. So the outcome from this study is causing the question on whether these devices should be banned from classrooms, as in they should not be used during lessons until they are part of the lessons. The one good thing about this study is that I can point it to my students, and tell them the consequences of being distracted by their devices, but then let THEM decide for themselves if they are willing to take the risk. After all, they are now adults, and as part of being independent and growing up, they will have to assume the responsibility of their actions. Zz.