I have been in classrooms where cell phones and laptops are strictly prohibited and students who are reading newspapers are also called out to put them away. I’ve been in others where technology is omnipresent and unrestricted. My classroom tends toward the technology side. My compromises deal with blatantly held-up and open newspapers (merits a comment from me) and my “technology section” (keep reading for info).
Although I have a technology “friendly” classroom, one line I do have is for students who may be distracting other students. As such, I ask that students who are using laptops restrict their usage to taking class notes. For those who have multiple windows open, I ask that those students consider the students behind them who might be distracted. Ultimately my policy is that students who have multiple windows open should sit in the back of the class to minimize such distraction. I have likened the technology section to the smoking section. It is a place where people can go recognizing that they may be hurting themselves, but that it is an area where they can do so.
Many policies like this seem to fall under a basic idea of “respect for others” in the classroom. You shouldn’t engage in anything in class that would interfere with someone else’s learning.