In the past, I have always banned cell phones. I find that it is difficult to enforce and sometimes creates an unnecessary negative tone in the room. I have also found that a lot of the time when I do call out a student for being on the phone, they really are just checking the time or confirming a ride home. How much of a battle do I really want to have? In talking to a coworker the other day, he mentioned that he now tells students that if they really need to shoot a quick text to their parents or whatever, they can do that. He feels that students like being able to know that they are able to use phones if they must, and that he doesn't see as much overuse of phones while he is teaching anymore. If he notices that a student is on the phone excessively, he goes up to the student and kindly asks if everything is okay. He said that students really appreciate that he approaches it in a concerned way rather than being accusatory. I am debating trying this out with my next batch of classes. I will probably have a conversation with all of my classes in which we discuss what times are appropriate for using a phone, and so on. Have any of you allowed more phone use in your room? What have your results been like?