It’s no secret that students are distracted by their phones. But just how distracted is what criminal justice teacher Regan Cothron wanted to find out.

“I decided I was going to see what the students’ phones do during the day to distract them from learning,” she explained in a recent email. “So, every time they got a notification during class they put a tally mark under the type of notification.”

Cothron got the idea from social media. She started her informal study at 8:50 a.m. on Aug. 29 and had students mark on a poster-sized sheet of paper each time they received a notification.

The study was far from scientific.

“Second block we were not in class the entire block, and half of my fourth block was gone to the coffeehouse show. We also had students in and out of class for pictures so this isn’t a true picture of the distractions they suffer,” Cothron said.

Even so, the data “is telling how distracting their phones can be,” she said.

A rundown of the results follows:

  • Snapchat, 230 notifications
  • Texts (friends, parents, others), 104
  • E-mail, 69
  • Twitter, 40
  • Discord, 26
  • Instagram, 25
  • YouTube, 15
  • Phone calls/Facetime, 3
  • Other, 29

Story by Cynthia Maravilla


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