The article about Laptops and Phones in the Classroom: Yea, Nay or A Third Way? Clearly discusses the different points of views whether to use the technology in the class or completely forget about it. Like everything else in the world, technology could have pros and cons. To me it is interesting that teachers might have extremely different points of views toward the same issue.
What I believe about the technology is, basically there is nothing wrong with it. However, the procedures and instructions are in need of significant revisions. As a student, I had experienced the both environments. I remember I was in high school in which any sorts of “technological-related” devices were banned (phones, iPads, etc.). In that atmosphere, we had to focus more on the subjects that the instructor had been teaching us although it went really slow and sometimes boring. However, we were not distracted much from the lecture. I have to say that the distraction for some students even with those rules and disciplines happened sometimes, since they eventually found something to be distracted with.
Along the same lines, I remember a completely different experience, where students were allowed to have their phone and tablets with themselves in the classroom. Like it is mentioned in the article by Kamenetez as well, even more than third number of our searches were irrelevant to the topics in the class. I remember doing all sorts of things and not doing anything related to the concepts being taught in the class myself. Watching soccer games, checking out Facebook, or even playing games with other classmates during the lecture! which I know it was due to the lack of knowledge about how to use technology in a suitable manner. To be fair, it had some advantages too at that moment, the overall lecture was not that boring and the information more efficiently was transformed to the students. Even using apps at some point to control the students was not a practical idea, because that was a coercive approach and did not gain much at the end of the day. Students would do whatever they want to one way or the other!
Having the experience of both environments, I would say the best way that worked out for me was to be self-governing. If teachers showed us the benefits and importance of their work at beginning and encourage the students to participate in debates and hand-on activities, the students would not allow themselves to be distracted by any means. I guess a lot of us had this feeling in many classes that what’s the use of this stuff for us, what I am doing here! So we eventually forgot about the lecture after receiving the grades while we were not fully aware of the importance or the effects of it. And that is the main reason of the distractions during the class. Distraction would happen no matter using technology in the classroom or banning it! But, the self-governed, motivated and happy-to-be-in-class student could prevent it from happening.