Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.

from NYTs

Step into any college lecture hall and you are likely to find a sea of students typing away at open, glowing laptops as the professor speaks. But you won’t see that when I’m teaching.

Though I make a few exceptions, I generally ban electronics, including laptops, in my classes and research seminars.

That may seem extreme. After all, with laptops, students can, in some ways, absorb more from lectures than they can with just paper and pen. They can download course readings, look up unfamiliar concepts on the fly and create an accurate, well-organized record of the lecture material. All of that is good.

But a growing body of evidence shows that over all, college students learn less when they use computers or tablets during lectures. They also tend to earn worse grades. The research is unequivocal: Laptops distract from learning, both for users and for those around them. It’s not much of a leap to expect that electronics also undermine learning in high school classrooms or that they hurt productivity in meetings in all kinds of workplaces.

Measuring the effect of laptops on learning is tough. One problem is that students don’t all use laptops the same way. It might be that dedicated students, who tend to earn high grades, use them more frequently in classes. It might be that the most distracted students turn to their laptops whenever they are bored. In any case, a simple comparison of performance may confuse the effect of laptops with the characteristics of the students who choose to use them. Researchers call this “selection bias.”

More here.

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13 Responses to Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.

  1. Jimmy Bedoya December 1, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

    The introduction of technology has taken the world by storm. For some technology has led to the progression of society, whereas some have believed technology to be the reason behind humanity’s demise. In some cases, technology has pushed for the evolution of people as well as the way they live by providing new mediums of entertainment as well as platforms for people to become more efficient in any type of environment. In other cases, technology has taken jobs from many individuals as well as distracted the youth from discovering their true potential wherever it is that they seek to succeed. In the article presented, the standpoint of a teacher who believes he is effected in a negative manner by technology is represented. The article shows a very reasonable opinion for the fact that many studies are conducted that show students who use technology end up performing worse than those who use their notebooks and pencils. Despite the fact that students can absorb more information by using technology as a means to get information that is more identical to that of the information that is in lectures, a substantial amount of evidence shows that students learn less when they use technology during lectures. The understanding of the information is crucial, some might say even more important than making sure the what you copied is correct because the processing of something is more instrumental in fully learning anything. Furthermore, there was a research conducted that showed the use of technology within classrooms effects the performance as well as the concentration of other students within the classrooms.

    In my opinion, however, I think that the fact that technology, like any other thing in this world, could be used or seen as an object of destruction in the wrong hands. The fact that students lack discipline can be traced back to their parents but most importantly to an idolization of rebellious actions. Students must be taught and have discipline implemented at an early age and must be taught the importance of keeping their actions intact. Most parents mess up in the sense that they discipline their children in a very aggressive manner triggering a feeling to act in opposition to what is being required of you. Not to mention the fact that most parents fail to express the necessity of discipline in one’s life, so the moment the child is given independence, the child cannot cope with reality because they lack the ability to manage their actions in a proper manner. I also believe that it is impossible to halt technology for the simple fact that it defines our future and the way everything is perceived. So to put a halt to the introduction of technology could potentially cripple the ability of students to use it effectively. I believe that in order for technology to be used efficiently in the classroom, the board of education or school itself should regulate the technology they distribute to the children by restricting websites and application irrelevant to the course material. With these restrictions, there will be a blockade of any distractions or unrelated information to the lecture.

  2. Chris O'Handley December 1, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

    Susan Dynarski chooses to teach her class in a way that is becoming more and more unpopular as time goes on. The evolution of technology has made it so that many people feel they need to use some sort of technology to do anything. In classrooms, many students and teachers turn to technology in order to more efficiently teach and learn but studies do not show that this idea holds true. Up until just a few years ago, technology was widely considered to be a distraction in learning environments and studies still back that theory to this day. While technology can certainly make it faster for students and teachers to write down their notes and share them with their peers, it does not necessarily help them. When given the choice to either write things down by hand or type them on a computer, I think most people would choose to type. This is largely because it is faster and easier and less physical work, but these facts make it harder for your brain to process the information and remember it. When you are in a lecture, simply typing down notes on a slide or mindlessly typing everything you hear will not help you learn anything. Since you can convert the words you hear to words on a screen so easily you do not really have to think about what you are doing. Your brain subconsciously types everything you hear or see without taking the time to think about it. This leads to students potentially typing however many pages of notes but not being able to tell you what those notes are. And what is the point of note taking if you do not even know what you are writing down. On the other hand when you write by hand your mind has to actually interpret what it is your writing which forces yourself to understand it or at least think about it for a second. These facts are backed by research which shows that students who type their notes earn significantly worse grades than those who write them by hand. This is interesting because as technology continues to develop more and more people push for the use of technology even though it may not be as efficient as pen and paper. All in all Professor Dynarski’s decision to ban the use of laptops in her class is probably disliked by her students but in the end she really has their best interest at heart and her disallowing technology is only going to cause them to do better in the class.

  3. Adis Hoti December 1, 2017 at 8:42 pm #

    Laptops are a great tool to have for education. Having a computer that can be taken anywhere in your back pack and taken out to do work is incredible. We can use laptops to type essays, search for information on the internet, and use other educational tools. The problem with laptops is that we can access imessage, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more versions of social media. We can also access games, movies, shows, and many other forms of entertainment. There are a number of other things that laptops can do to keep us entertained. As a matter of fact, there are not many things laptops cannot do. With all of the positives that come from the laptops, there are just as many negatives. Students are using this piece of technology as a form of entertainment during class. While professors are teaching they are on social media, paying games, and even watching movies. The laptops are supposed to be used to search for information and take notes. Students rarely use laptops in class for educational purposes. They are usually surfing the web for any form of entertainment they can find.
    Why is this a bad thing? Everything the professor says in class goes in one ear and out the other ear. Students are not focusing, participating, or interacting in class. This has led to lower scores on exams, participation, and other aspects that drive down GPAs. The lower scores result in students being less prepared for the real world. Professors are bright individuals and learning from them is important. In order to get the most out of our educations we need to pay attention in class. As long as laptops are allowed in classrooms, students will continue to be distracted.
    Solution, provide university laptops that only allow you to use educational tools. If there is no way we can monitor what students use on their computers then we may have to consider banning laptops in classrooms. It seems aggressive, however, this is a real issue. Students using laptops to distract themselves from class is not good. Do not get me wrong, not every student does this. Some students use laptops to take notes and do other things that help them excel in the class. With that being said, the number of students who use laptops as a distraction out numbers the others tremendously.
    This is the case outside the classroom as well. During meetings employees are using their laptops to help time pass by. This can hurt the company because typically meetings are held for important purposes. If the employees are not paying attention during meetings it can lead to them doing something that will ultimately get them fired. For example, if the boss discussed a new budget that had to be met for the year and you missed it due to being on your laptop then that will cost you your job. If you do not know the new budget then there is a good chance you will go over budget for the year.
    I believe that to be successful inside the classroom, and inside the office, you must remain focused. Try to avoid using the laptop as a means of distraction. Laptops are a great tool for education and work, use them wisely.

  4. Lucas Nieves-Violet December 7, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

    Not only is this research wrong in many ways, but I disagree with it greatly. A student can very well take good notes on a laptop just as good as student on paper. I will agree however that taking notes on paper has indeed proven to be more helpful in time. Since the information is physically written it is processed through the brain and makes us use our memory. This process has furthermore been scientifically proven to make people remember notes easier. However this simply depends on the class, I for example like taking notes on hand for my economics class, but in the other classes I do like taking notes on my computer for example my business ethics and computer class. A professor banning all electronics from a class is nonsensical. I would advise any professor who do believe in this philosophy to simply look up in the classroom. In fact I would advise them to look up in any classroom they enter even in the old buildings, in it they will see a projector linked to the wall with audio settings. Not only is every class equipped with them, but the school pays for these services. The projectors are meant to help not only all students but the professors when they are projecting notes. Having access to a projector is helpful, it has easy access to the internet and makes it easier to work. As professor you can simply pull examples form the real world and show them to the class.
    We are growing up in a time and age where it is almost impossible to not encounter technology. I do not believe that one person pulling out there laptops will drag others to do the same. “Negative externality” depends on many thing. If a student is focused on their grades than the person in front of them or next to them could be playing games or coloring on the computer and it would not affect them. More importantly though my parents pay $1000 per semester for a below average computer that contains databases useful for school, which is the only reason why the price is this much. If my parents are paying this much money the least thing I could do is make decent use of the computer given to me. Again my preference varies when taking notes I will sometimes prefer pen over keyboard while other times I would prefer the computer to type notes. Not only does this depend on the class, but more precisely it depends on the way the professor is teaching. Some Professor say that using technology is disrespectful. How so ? Students should have every right to use the computers they are paying for in class. More importantly though why does it matter to the Professor if students are playing games during lectures, they are still getting paid either ways. The burden to succeed in the class is on the student. The student is the one who has to do the necessary work required in order to successfully pass the course.

  5. Meghan Healy December 7, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

    As many studies have shown, productivity has a great possibility of diminishing with the use of laptops in the classroom. Computers definitely have their benefits in the classroom, with a number of students finding that typing their notes is easier than writing them out with a pen and paper. Typing notes on a computer can also make the notes more organized. With a computer, one can simply erase their mistake and retype what they meant to write. With a pen and paper, one has to scribble out their mistakes, making their notes distracting and almost ineffective. However, most students using a pen and paper might take the initiative to rewrite their notes in order to make it more organized and appealing to look at. This method is more effective in studying the material, since rewriting your notes makes it easier to remember. If one can simply retype their mistake in the exact moment they made it, then they are not prompted to look at it again until they need to. Most people might not retype their notes outside of the classroom since it is already organized in the way they like. On paper, if you want to add a statement to a note written before others, you would have to write that note in the margins. On a computer, you can use the mouse to choose where you type an additional sentence. Most students that use pen and paper to take notes might rewrite it after class, even if they did not make many mistakes, in order to have notes with better handwriting or to have it in a nicer, more logical order. In addition, when using a computer or other device, a student is less likely to absorb the information being taught. Students might type what the professor is saying without processing the words. As the author of the article states, “students writing by hand had to process and condense the spoken material simply to enable their pens to keep up with the lecture.” Students using a device type word for word, while students writing their notes focus on the information that they need.
    In addition, there is a good possibility that many of the students using their laptops are not using them to take notes. Some might be checking their Facebook, some are online shopping, some are playing Solitaire, and some are catching up on a TV show or a sports game. As stated in the article, multiple evidence shows that college students learn less when they use computers or other devices in a lecture. This is because most students do not use their devices to take notes and learn. Even a student that uses their laptop for notes could look around and see someone using their laptop for another purpose. The note-taking student might involuntarily – or voluntarily – focus on the content being displayed by the other student, therefore becoming distracted by those around them.
    Laptops can be beneficial in the classroom; as the article states, students “can download course readings, look up unfamiliar concepts on the fly and create an accurate, well-organized record of the lecture material.” However, laptops are also inevitably distracting. Especially in a lecture, laptops can be used as a distraction. Students might be less prone to use their laptop for a purpose other than learning in a classroom setting where a student is prompted to engage in discussion, therefore being led to only use their laptops for notes or other educational purposes. In a lecture, students are more likely to turn to their laptops for other purposes out of boredom. Many studies show that students would be better off avoiding laptops and other devices in the classroom.

  6. Rebecca Hu December 8, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    There has always been debate regarding usage of electronics in the classroom. Since in middle school we are required to have laptops, in high school we use it every day. I tried both systems using a laptop to take notes and the classic pen and paper. Everyone is different, I can only speak for myself. I find writing down lecture to be the most effective for studying. Even in college, I like to have all my notes written rather typed on the device.
    Technology helps with studying, the student does not have to look through pages of the textbook to find something. Just type in keyword and search, all the information are listed an organized. I also see a lot of people use the tablet to take notes. I think it is a good and effective system when used right it will be a helpful tool. Typing does not connect to our brain, I see students copy the exact words from professor’s PPT. It may seem that the students have a lot of information down, however, this information is not processed in the brain.
    This article discussed that using technology in class can lead to distraction and worse performance. I think it is not only because of the versatility nature of technology. Technology in school is a relatively new thing, students were never taught on how they should use devices to enhance their performance. For a long time we, know studying means write down lecture on a notebook. Now we move on to the age of technology we just use the same concept of note taking on another device. The most effective and easiest way to take notes is just writing it down. With technology we can do many things, the school should teach how to use technology in class effectively to enhance their performance.
    I personally think technology is really useful when it comes down to more reading base class. Classes such as science or math I find it just distracting and impossible to take notes on the laptop. Now everyone in the university has access to some sort of device, there are all sorts of applications that are specifically tailored to use for studying. The most common one that everyone use is probably OneNote, a virtual notebook. It allows the student to highlight pdf and annotate the material. Students can insert graphs, diagrams use it the same as you would for a physical notebook. But it is more convenient and can be accessed from anywhere. When used correctly I think devices could enhance our learning experience. It all comes down to how the individual chose to use the device. For now, I would still stick to pen and paper.

  7. Erik Peterson December 8, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    This professor is choosing to teach their class in a way that is growing more and more unpopular as the years progress. In today’s day and age, everything runs through our technology. Students (and professors for that matter) have the world at their fingertips. We are able to look up anything, at anytime, and learn to understand it fully. This article, I believe, is taking “proven data/tests” and presenting that data or test results in a negative way towards computers and laptops. I believe for a multitude of reasons that a laptop is a student’s best tool for learning in the classroom.
    The first reason for this belief can be seen right in our classroom on Mondays and Wednesdays. Nearly every single person records his/her notes on their laptop. When we come across a term in the textbook that no one understands, a few people quickly google it in order to find the meaning. If we are in need of some data for one of our hypothetical situations, someone is able to look up the data and find it in about 10 seconds. If the use of laptops were to be constricted in our class, we would end up with a lot less production. Overall, our discussions would amount to less as a result of not being able to access the internet.
    Another reason why I think it would be unwise to restrict technology in a classroom setting is because college students, (at least the vast majority of us) are ADULTS. This is not middle school or high school anymore. We are able to make decisions for ourselves, whether they be positive or not. If someone decides to slack off and not pay attention to the lecture because of their laptop, that is their own problem. As an adult, you have to learn that their are consequences for your actions. If the professor facilitates your decisions for you, then whats the point?
    Personally, I don’t really understand the decision for professors to ban the use of laptops in the classroom. At the end of the day, laptops can only add to the learning environment, and help more students to learn. I believe that the data that was used in this article is skewed. It misrepresents what exactly laptops are able to d in the classroom. Something that strikes me as particularly ridiculous is when the article talks about the notes that the students who were involved in the lecture took. It says that the students with laptops took more accurate notes, yet still performed worse on the test. I think that part of this might have to do with memory (you remember something better if it is written), but there is a lot of information that is withheld. Did the students have adequate time to study for this test? If the test was taken directly after that lecture, I could definitely see the result that they got occurring. The students with laptops would have no time to review the notes that they took in that case. At any rate, I know that my laptop helps me while in class, and hopefully, I can continue to use it in every class that I take.

  8. Shiyun Ye December 8, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    The use of computers during lectures has become a common phenomenon in colleges. There are many good sides of this. For example, students can have notes that are more organized, download course videos and even look for the concepts they do not understand online. However, I still prefer using pen and paper when taking notes during classes. For me, it is a more efficient way as I can process what the professors said instead of blindly typing whatever showing on board. A research proves my idea as well. Some students were randomly assigned with computers or pens and papers to take notes in the class. In the end, the students with computers were behave worse than the students with paper and pens, as they do not understand half of the lectures. This is exactly where I found myself clueless when I use computers during classes. It tends to be inefficient as I was just typing without absorbing the knowledge. It requires extra effort and time after classes to understand the concepts. Moreover, another research shows that the use of laptop affects does not affect the student who is using it, but also influence the students around him or her. There is one economic term specifically used to describe this phenomenon: “negative externality”, which indicates the negative impact when a person’s use of something affect the others. Smoking is one of the significant examples of this term, as it does not only influence the smoker but the people around the smoker.
    Therefore, the author explains his reasons on not using laptops during lectures with lining many evidences. Personally, I have no opinion against this decision and even support this as it can produce better study outcome. However, people may argue that the modern world needs the study environment to be developed, too. With the advanced technology, why should students still use ancient way of notetaking? Actually, the advanced technologies have already played an important role in the study environment even if the computers are banned during classes. For example, the prevailing of projector with the combination of power point. The online recording videos of the lecture afterwards, etc. All of these are the advantages that the study environment is adapting to the new technologies. However, with not using the laptop during classes, it will not cause a big harm.
    Furthermore, as more and more new forms of online study courses appear, people also argue whether online courses really help students learn anything. From my own experiences, I would suggest not taking online courses unless you have to. As mentioned previously, the use of computer already create a distraction to people’s attention, learning new knowledge through the usage of computer just seems not a good idea. However, if it is IT related courses, which inevitably have to use the laptop, then the value of the online course has its time to show. Anyway, I would not take any other classes as an online course, which is not related to IT because I know I will be distracted heavily.

  9. Greg D'Ottavi December 8, 2017 at 4:11 pm #

    Since I was in fifth grade, I have had access to a laptop in the classroom. My entire class of fifth graders was the first class to be introduced to laptops that we would be using every day and be able to take home in order to do work. By the time my class graduated in 2016, we were all accustomed to a classroom with computers and immediate internet connection. As I moved on to college, again, I was given a laptop by the school to operate and use during all class discussions and for home use. Of course, throughout my education career, there have been some teachers or professors who will tell all of the students downright that laptops are not permitted during any lecture or discussion. With that said, I still find myself taking notes by paper and pencil than through typing. I have spent almost 10 years of schooling having access to a computer in the classroom, yet when there are notes to be taken, I almost always prefer writing them.
    This article highlights studies done in which researchers looked for the difference in level of performance between students who take notes by hand or on a laptop and the results made sense to me. According to the article, those who took notes on their laptops had a substantially worse understanding of the lecture than those who did not. The students were tested on the material through a standardized test and the technology note takers did not fare well. The article goes on to say that the reasoning for this may have been because students who took the notes electronically were able to take them at a much faster rate, which stopped their brains from comprehending the material as it was being recorded. For a student who was writing the notes, they had to understand what was being said as they were writing it which helped them in the long run.
    I have always believed that one of the reasons why I always preferred to hand write my notes is because I retain the information better. Whenever I did not have a notebook or a pencil or pen to write my notes and had to take them on my laptop, I was much more distracted. One of the main problems I have found in addition to retaining the information less is that there are too many distractions on a laptop. Too easily could I switch from taking notes one second to playing games or reading an unrelated article online. Laptops and the internet are great resources in and out of the classroom, but in my opinion, when it comes to taking notes, there is no comparison. I will agree that there is a certain level of ease and efficiency that comes with taking notes on a computer. It takes much longer to handwrite something than it does to type something and you can also fit much more onto a page through typing. Nevertheless, this article does justice to the students who do not take their notes electronically and proves that I have a valid reason to handwrite.

  10. Valerie Dorsett December 8, 2017 at 4:22 pm #

    It is easy just to download a registered copy of your textbook online than carrying around a heavy textbook from class to class in your backpack. Seton Hall University has provided each and every one of their students with laptops to make things a lot simpler for everyone. One can easily take notes, make PowerPoint presentations, and more with these laptops. However, they can also be used for fun such as social media or games. Whenever people walk into a college classroom you are mostly likely to see students relaxing at their desks using their laptops. Most of these students do use their laptops to type their own notes, can be a lot easier than just writing with a paper and pen because it definitely will not make your hand cramp up. On the other hand, most students do not actually pay attention in class when you are allowed to have your laptop out. It can be very distracting and this article explains why.
    It is not unusual for professors to not allow any electronics out while they are teaching class. Laptops are an easy distraction for students who will not pay attention to the actual lecture. The article says that a student can absorb more from writing rather than typing, which I completely agree with. Personally, I tend to remember something longer if I am writing it down on paper rather than just typing it quickly. The article also says that students will most likely get worse grades if laptops are accessible in class. I can see where this is coming from because if a person if not paying attention in class and not absorbing the material, no matter how much you crash study if one does not really know the material they will struggle with passing the class. Even if a student is writing, if another student in front or next to them has their laptop out and is looking at Facebook or Amazon, it can be very distracting as well.
    It is smart to do research and come to a simple conclusion of finding. At Princeton University and the University of California both tested out the power of laptops by giving some students laptops and others pen and paper to take notes with during class, they found that people with laptops did worse when it came to testing. As I stated earlier they also found that even if students nearby use laptops others who do not will be affected because laptops draw attention. Yes, everyone has the choice whether or not they want to use a laptop o not since we are all adults who can make our own decisions but sometimes it is best to just put the technology away. When people use a laptop they can escape their boredom by looking up irrelevant topics that have nothing to do with the actual class.
    The article adds that there are some exceptions to this laptop ban. Sometimes people with learning disabilities will be able to use laptops in class. However, this would still be a distraction to others and people would know that that person needs extra help, which could make people jealous. They add that some students may be mad about not typing notes but they could just retype their hand written notes if they wanted them saved digitally as well. Personally, I find that laptops can be very distracting and that I learn more information with a paper and pencil. It may seemed old fashioned but if it still works, I do not see taking away laptops as bad decision.

  11. Vincent Scorese December 8, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

    It’s crazy to think how far technology has progressed in such a short time and how it has branched into so many aspects of our lives. Whether we are talking about education, work, personal, or even social aspects it is a part of all of them. Some of the bigger controversies in the technology world is how it is affecting the education world with the more and more usage of technology and the phasing out of things like pen and paper and other traditional platforms of education that have been used for decades if not centuries.
    Laptops are very great machines with how much they provide to us by making much harder tasks at some point now very easy and very accessible. If I want to make a 500-word essay or write a fifteen-page paper, it takes so much less time than it used to with the use of pen and paper or even a typewriter that you had to constantly manually fix. It also provides services with those papers for instance with spell and grammar check to make sure that the product you are typing is not only complete but also is in top shape by meeting a plethora or grammar criteria. Laptops and computers are also great for the access to the great fountain of information and knowledge which is known as the internet. If I want to learn more about any subject, there is somewhere that has that information or video explain exactly what imp looking for where the past did n0ot offer those things. But how is this truly affecting the learning space? I feel that laptops or other devices are bad for the learning environment because it provided us with so many shortcuts that limit our actual learning of the material or even the fact that we know are completely tempted to use our computers for something we aren’t supposed to in class like setting a fantasy lineup or watching highlights of last night’s game. And because of how tempting these things are it makes it very hard to pay attention in class and if we fall behind suddenly it becomes overwhelming and creates a very intense amount of catchup work we need to do if we don’t fall behind again by doing the same thing again. Also with the introduction of technology it takes our focus away from the class and its materials and puts it on things like what is my friend Andrew doing right now or what are all my friends laughing about in this group chat rather than the things you need to be focused on in class to get the most from your education and can truly understand the project or lesson. Not just cram the last 30 minutes before an exam to learn it and then forget it by the next da. Then seem lost when in the future the material reappears and you have no idea how to do it. You also couldn’t cheat like you can now which made you have to know the material for a test instead how to hit the search bar in google. I like the traditional education system and ways that they taught because I feel like I have learned less since more technology has been introduced.

  12. Arielle Fortes December 8, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

    With all the technology that we currently have in the world it is not too surprising that many people are using the technology that is currently available to them. We can now do many things that we never could before with the use of technology. We can now contact people almost regardless of where they are if they have a cellphone connection. We can see relative’s faces by using video chats so it is much easier to stay in touch. In addition, we also have a wealth of information at our fingertips because we have our computers that we can access search engines with. Although there are many positive sides to the use of technology there are also some negative side to it. One thing is an ongoing debate about the uses of the technology in the classroom.
    Before technology school were strictly pen and paper. For finding information for your latest paper you would go to the library to start a seemingly thankless task of searching through book after book and trying to find that small piece of information that you need. And when you are listening to the teacher talk you would simply take down notes in your notebook. However, now there is another option because you can take notes on your laptop. In the article, it talked mainly about the potential problem for college students taking notes on their laptop. In my classes I use my laptop to type up my notes in one class, because I want to make sure that I can get down everything I need to fast enough. I think the main problem with taking notes on paper is the limitation on how fast you can write. During most lectures you want to make sure that you are taking down everything that needs to be said. And in some cases the professor can talk extremely quickly so that trying to take down everything in your notebook by hand may not be fast enough to write down what needs to be said. I do agree with the article when it says a computer can be an extremely distracting thing to use, but it is possible to continue to use a computer without doing anything else on it and focus on the lecture. I think that part depends on your self-control skills. I think that it could be true that the computers are distracting to other people, but I think that that would only happen if the person is misusing the tablet or computer to play games or find out things that are not class related. Otherwise, if someone is typing on the computer there is not real reason to look at someone else’s notes, unless you missed something and are looking at the other person’s notes to see exactly what you missed typing down. I also think that being a college student you have to find out which note taking style works best for you so that you can do what you need effectively in classes. Because for some people one style work better than the other.

  13. Brian Ayoub December 8, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    The prominence of technology in classrooms has risen tremendously in the past decade. Before laptops came around, a pad and pen was the way that students learned and took down material. But now, those are not needed. Only a laptop is needed. There are positives to this. Typing throughout a lecture is way quicker than writing it down on paper. Sometimes teachers lecture too quickly and students are not able to get down the information fully. This is where laptops come into play and help students a lot. They are able to get work done quicker and to a better extent. There are also many tools online that help students retain information from their courses. My favorite is quizlet. Quizlet helps me study and get ready for exams. Also, there is easybib, which allows you to cite sources 100 times quicker than doing it manually. The internet and laptops are a beautiful thing if you use it correctly. Sometimes however, students do not use their privileges correctly and slack off in class, and this great technology actually negatively impacts their class performance. Some students who are not interested actually try to waste the lecture time by browsing through social media, playing games on their computer, and going on their phone and texting friends. This is where something that can possibly serve as a learning booster, turns into a learning destroyer. It really just depends on the type of student, how much they want to learn, and if they work better with technology or traditional methods. Whats interesting to me about this article was when it talked about how students using their laptops for things not class related not only hurt themselves, but also their classmates. Students who were around other students that were doing things on their laptop not related to class suffered by something called visual pollution. Students attention are easily taken, so even surrounding laptop screens can easily distract students. It is really up to professors if they want to ban laptops from lectures or not. If they feel that laptops take away from retention then I think they should take them away. However, if it benefits a class, then I think they should be allowed to use them. For me personally, I use my laptop in all classes. For classes that I believe are interesting, I really stay on task and take good notes without getting distracted. However, for classes that are boring and not easy to pay attention for, I usually go online and try to waste time. I am not blaming teachers for their methods of lecturing, however I am saying that laptops are a positive impact in interesting classes, but not boring ones. This is why it is important for teachers to observe their classes attention levels and judge it course by course, rather than just a straight decision. In high school, they blocked social media from the laptops which forced students to stay on task. I think it is unnecessary to have something like this in college, since the students are adults and make their own decisions, but it may help.

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