Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 585–597 | Cite as

What College Instructors Can Do About Student Cyber-slacking

  • Abraham E. FlaniganEmail author
  • Kenneth A. Kiewra
Reflection on the Field


Today’s traditional-aged college students are avid users of mobile technology. Commonly referred to as the Net Generation, today’s college students spend several hours each day using their smart phones, iPads, and laptops. Although some scholars initially opined that the Net Generation would grow into technologically savvy digital natives who would leverage their unprecedented access to technology for professional and academic betterment, contemporary research has rejected the digital native myth. Instead, college students frequently use mobile technology for off-task purposes while attending classroom lectures or doing schoolwork outside of class—a phenomenon known as cyber-slacking. This article provides college educators with an overview of the frequency and consequences of cyber-slacking inside and outside the classroom and seven instructional implications for curbing cyber-slacking. Proposed strategies for curbing cyber-slacking include rejecting the digital native myth, adopting and enforcing technology policies, consciousness raising, motivating students to relinquish their devices, incorporating active learning in the classroom, using mobile technology as a teaching tool, teaching students to be self-regulated learners, and motivating students to delay gratification from their mobile devices.


College students Cyber-slacking Technology Pedagogy Self-regulation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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