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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98 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.

    • Moniqua Prince January 26, 2018 at 8:33 pm #

      As I mentioned previously about use of technology in classes, there are many factors to deciding whether laptops cause low performance or high performance in classrooms. As mentioned in the article above, the discipline of lack thereof that students receive from their parents may also be a factor in how technology affects these students. I would like to point that idea out, but I would also like to move forward to the point that I agree that students need to learn how to use the instrument of technology. It is like using our brains effectively. Or using a sword effectively. We cannot fully understand how to think critically if it is not something we do not practice. We cannot use a sword effectively if we do not learn how to use it effectively. I agree that technology should not be banned in the classroom setting. Technology is our future. This means that we must learn how to use technology in an effective manner with practice and a discipline. Teachers and professors should not ban technology in their classrooms, but instead figure out way to teach their students to use these instruments effectively. How else will students learn not to be distracted by their technology? How else will they progress into the future with a better understanding of the tools that they handle and have access to?
      I believe that if professors and/or teachers do not have the time to teach their students an effective way to use their tools, that these students should attend courses that do teach them. With this knowledge that they will gain, they will do better in the classes that allow technology usage. Anything can be abused, especially if the knowledge on how to use that something is not there. Therefore, allow students to use their tools, but teach them right from wrong. Teach them a better way to handle and use their tools, so that they may progress into a future of technology with a better understanding than what they have now. So that they may succeed in the inevitable future in which technology is the core and foundation of all things.

    • Destiny Kearney February 2, 2018 at 4:34 pm #

      The focus of this article is to point out that laptops and other electronics should not be permitted during class lectures. A professor by the name Susan Dynarski is standing by this idea strongly. Throughout this article Susan provided studies that proved students who use laptops to take notes during class lectures end up having lower performance scores than those who use the traditional paper and pen way to take notes. As stated in the article above students are typing quicker than they can write so their brains are more focus on pushing keys instead of processing each word as it’s being written. Also when students are on their laptops they may not be taking notes, instead they are on different websites, browsing the internet. When doing this the student’s focus is now completely off the focus of the professor and onto their interest of choice. This particular professor, Susan, understands that laptops has become the social norm of society but within the classroom walls they are not prohibited. Stated in the text, laptops can be a distraction not only to those on them but also to those sitting near a laptop. This is called “negative externality”. Seeing the bright lights or hearing the pressing of the keyboards can cause easy distractions to those around.
      I personally like to write my notes than to use a laptop. Paper and pen is more effective in my own opinion. When writing it down I focus more on what the professor is saying, which is causing my brain to process the information. When typing some may constantly be pressing the wrong keys so using the backspace can become a bit annoying. With a laptop I would be tempted to click anything that lights up or just spark my interest in general. All Students that made it to college has the capability to write notes on a piece of paper but not everyone is good at typing effectively. To have to the choice of both laptop and paper with pen is a unique situation. Everyone can get what they want and not have to compromise.

  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.

  14. Gabrielle Pietanza January 24, 2018 at 3:59 pm #

    Innately, laptops and other technological devices are not bad. With that said, we as human beings have the opportunity to use them in a way which is ineffective. With the world constantly at our fingertips it is easy, especially as young people living in a world where we strive to always be entertained, to get off track. Class can occasionally become boring and I understand technology opens the opportunity for students to use social media platforms and have outside conversations over the course of class, yet I do not believe it to be the responsibility of any given professor to limit technological use because of this.

    In a course or activity focused in opinion or philosophy I can imagine limited use of technology so the professor can be sure the opinions the student develops are his or her own. In a course however rooted in fact, I personally do not agree with the idea the author suggests. I believe at this level of academia and more simply, this point in our lives, we should allow students the option to use whichever technologies they so choose. If individuals choose to use these respective technologies ineffectively they are only hurting themselves. Part of the learning process should be teaching students discipline which includes affording them the ability to use their devices in an effective way teaching them to stray from temptation. Laptops and other tools have the ability to broaden the learning process and can teach things students may otherwise never learn. So while we are able to think of all the ways technology can hinder this educational advancement, we must also think about how it aids it. Technology has the opportunity to assist a class in their quest for knowledge and we must trust students to take advantage of all there device is capable of.

    In the modern times that we live in today each and every one of us is carrying around a little computer in our pocket or on our wrist or in our bag everywhere we go. With such an immense knowledge at our fingertips it is only right to allow students the opportunity to channel this information and use it constructively in a lecture. Be it to define a word or topic they do not know, to answer a question when one does not know how, to take notes on, to find articles supporting or disproving a discussion. Once they enter the professional world, they will continue to be surrounded by this technology, so why limit them now?

  15. Michael Polito January 25, 2018 at 5:58 pm #

    Laptops are a tool that can be very useful for doing anything, you can find anything you need at the tip of your fingertips. On the other hand depending on the user they can be abused in a classroom or meeting setting due to all the distractions that they come with. As easy as it is to find research for your paper it is just as easy to find a game or another website that will distract you from what it is that you are actually trying to accomplish. With that being said it is hard to see in a classroom full of people who is actually doing what they are supposed to and who is doing something they are not. As laptop technology continues to advance the pen and paper method to taking notes seems like it is headed for extinction. Although pen and paper is not the most optimal method of taking notes anymore I feel that it is the most effective way if you are trying to learn. In the article it says, “Because students can type faster than they write, the lecturer’s words flowed right to the students typing fingers without stopping in their brains for a substantive processing” which I also feel is the problem when typing notes. Going through the process of actually writing out all the words on the paper is more reassuring when taking notes because you need to process everything before writing it down. You may say it’s the same thing with typing but all you are doing is clicking the buttons of the words you hear not actually sitting there writing them and understanding them. This method also filters out the other distractions that that may be tempting if using a laptop.
    Although laptops may not be the best thing for taking notes and using in class they can be extremely helpful. As I said before if you need to know anything using a laptop may be your best tool, within seconds of typing anything into a search bar you will have a result that in most cases can help you. There are a lot of benefits to a laptop that you can get, but that is if the user uses it properly and doesn’t abuse its powers to not pay attention in class. Knowing what distractions these machines come with I don’t think necessarily they have necessarily improved the class room environment but they also haven’t hurt it. There will always be students in classrooms who will zone off or do what they are not supposed to be doing regardless of what type of method of note taking they are using. Whether hand written notes or typed notes are more effective on a student retaining the information being taught to him I feel is really up to the student. In the classroom students should have a choice on what they want to use to take notes in class to better suit their learning styles. Students who easily get distracted should not use laptops, but if they decide that they want to and perform poorly in the class then that is on them. As a student you need to know what’s best for you to learn the material not what is best to keep you occupied during a boring class lecture.

  16. Timothy Wiamer January 25, 2018 at 6:51 pm #

    While many college students my age believe that laptops are a great tool to use during class, I actually have to agree with Susan Dynarski that laptops should be banned in class. All of her points are valid. The comic portrayed in the article itself speaks volumes. It pictures a professor lecturing “…and you just type whatever I say without thinking…” and the student’s are indeed typing exactly that. From personal experience, I find that when I am using my laptop and typing everything the professor says, I am more worried about typing the word and not understanding it’s context. This is terrible because when I go back to study my notes, I feel lost and do not know what I am reading. When I am writing in class, I comprehend the material so much better. It’s like when you’re a child and you get in trouble so you are punished with writing something multiple times. You end up remembering that specific sentence and remember not to repeat the action that got you in this mess in the first place. Another aspect of the article that I agree with is the fact that laptop use distracts those around you. I cannot count the numerous times where I did not have my laptop in class but someone near me did. Instead of focusing on the professor or the lesson being taught, I got distracted and became interested in what the person next to me was doing. Nine times out of ten, students are getting bored in class and going on social media instead of taking notes. When these students are looking at different websites, memes, or even watching videos, they are distracting not only themselves but also all those around them who can view their laptop. While I do not condone laptops in class on a daily basis, I do have to say that there are times when I think they become great tools and resources for specific lessons such as collaborating in class during a group project. There are so many platforms similar to Google Docs where students can create a shared drive or document and edit it together. For brainstorming during group work, it’s extremely collaborative and helpful. It auto-saves your work and then you can easily access the information at home and see your group member working on their portion in real-time. Another example would be if the professor assigned presentations and wanted the students to work on them. Other than these types of situations, I do not particularly support the use of laptops in college classrooms

  17. Jessica Williams January 25, 2018 at 7:57 pm #

    The integration of technology in schools is slowly becoming the norm in both public schools and universities. While the usage of technology, namely laptops, have proven to be somewhat distracting in a classroom setting, it is crucial that a student becomes accustomed to working with technology, not only because it is easier and faster to do tasks such as write an essay or look up information, but because it is already drastically changing the world outside of schools and colleges. Even if some students choose to ignore lectures or not review the material that was discussed in class afterward, and fail or do poorly as a result, all students will ultimately need to learn how to properly use the technology presented to them. Stripping an entire generation of students from learning this skillset would be doing them a great injustice, especially if there are only a few students who do not use the technology to its full potential.

    While it is easier to mindlessly copy the information presented in a lecture, it is the responsibility of the student to review the material afterward if they feel they need to do so. Whether it that can be done by physically rewriting the notes outside of class, rereading the notes to process it, or by any other means of study, a student can still use the laptop to aid in his or her academic career. If using the laptops for a class do not aid the student in retaining the information more effectively, they can still utilize the tool for reviewing the material presented later, as the individual would be able to document more information and more details in a faster amount of time on a laptop than by writing the information down alone. Additionally, a student could still get distracted without a laptop, as he or she could be doing other smaller activities such as drawing in a notebook or playing with a pen instead of listening and actively participating in class.

    Ultimately, there are no perfect students. There are times where an individual may become distracted during a lecture and finds themselves doing or thinking about other things instead of the topics being discussed in class even without a laptop. It is up to the individual to actively think and participate in class themselves. Using laptops in a classroom setting do assist with documenting more detailed information from a lecture, as it is faster than physically writing with pen and paper. Additionally, even if the student becomes distracted and does poorly in the class overall because of the distraction from having the laptop, preventing all students from using technology in the classroom would be ill-preparing them for their future careers, as many jobs are also integrating technology to produce work faster and more efficiently.

  18. Tanner Purcel January 25, 2018 at 10:55 pm #

    Laptops are a great device to take notes fast, keep them organized, edit them in the future, and keep everything in one spot; however, laptops can be a great distraction in class. Personally, I see many students using their laptops to do things other than class material during a class, such as games, social media, or just surfing the web. Even when students are trying to stay focused, it can be hard to keep on track. When students don’t understand a concept that the Professor has just said, sometimes they quickly google it to try and understand it instead of asking the professor to further explain it (or just wait till after class). The result of this is that the students are doing their own research instead of listening to the rest of the lecture.
    From a personal experience, I occasionally get distracted taking notes on the computer just because I try and make them perfect. Taking notes on paper is proven to be a more reliable study technique because one retains more. Not having a screen in front of you makes it easier to stay focused. On top of that, people write slower then they type, which results in them repeating the notes more often in their head while they are writing them instead of quickly just typing it out.
    At the same time, technology is advancing fast. Almost everything is on the computer, and students need to learn to get used to that environment. College is a time when students prepare for the real world, and computers are all over the real world. This is a time when students need to learn to stay focused on the computer and be able to effectively use it. Even without a laptop, students will find ways to be unfocused, whether its day dreaming, doodling, or on their phones. I don’t think professors should deny the students the right to use their laptops. There is a high chance on these kids using computers in their future job, so why limit them now? I understand that writing might be a more efficient study technique, but ultimately it should be the students decision.

  19. Luke Nadolny January 26, 2018 at 11:21 am #

    Having laptops in class is a great privilege we as college students get to have, but sometimes we can abuse that privilege, which is why some classes ban not just laptops but all electronics in general. Some students do take advantage of the opportunity and instead of using their laptops to take notes and use it for classwork, they surf the internet and play games, missing out on what the professor has to say. However, just because some people use their laptops for other things, the students who use their laptops to keep up to date with their classwork and searching up Powerpoints of the professor’s lectures.

    Having said that, I would much rather take notes with pen and paper as information does retain better, and over the course of my first college semester, it has helped me tremendously in preparation for exams and lectures. I also have some trouble taking notes on laptops, as I am not used to it just yet, while I do use it to create outlines for myself, it does not help me as much as a regular pen and paper does. Also, it is much easier to annotate an article or a case with pen and paper in my opinion. Paper and pen is my preferred method of note taking, but having the laptop at your disposal can help you take your notes one step further.

    If you are confused by something you see or hear in a lecture, you can look it up on your laptop, which is what most of us are going to do in the real world anyway, so you might as well start now. Nobody ever said that looking things up on the internet was wrong to do if you do not know something, just do not do it during an exam or assessment. In some classes like a management information systems class, laptops are actually required for class because of the platforms you use like Excel and Powerpoint. In a business field of study, technology is what you have to use now, there is no more pen and paper in the real world to actually get work done, you can use it, but most of the work you will be assigned will come in the form of an online document.So in many ways, your laptop will be even more important to you when you get a job in the real world. As for taking notes, it should be up to the student to decide what they feel comfortable using.

  20. Tyler Grzybowski January 26, 2018 at 12:52 pm #

    The use of laptops in class can be an effective tool for taking notes and quickly searching up unfamiliar concepts but recent studies have shown that they do more harm than good in a learning environment. Considering the sheer number of students especially at this institution that rely on their laptops for class this came as somewhat of a shock. To think that using electronics could actually cause students to earn worse grades compared to using a pen and paper to jot down lecture notes and comprehend course material doesn’t exactly seem to make a whole lot of sense at first. However, once I considered how many students I see using their laptops for unrelated tasks the reason for this anomaly became immediately apparent. The use of technology in the classroom creates distractions that otherwise would not be present. Students that become bored misuse laptops and instead use them to play games or message friends. Even students who are using their laptops to take notes may get distracted by emails and other applications and lose concentration on what the professor is saying. The other main argument against the use of laptops is that when students are using their laptop to type notes they are not actually paying attention to what the professor is saying but instead just typing it up. In experiments at both Princeton and the University of California students were randomly assigned either a laptop or a pen and paper at a lecture. At the end an exam was given to measure each student’s comprehension. The result was that students that had been assigned laptops performed substantially worse than the students who took notes with a pen and paper. The scientific reasoning behind this is that because typing is faster than handwriting something students using laptops were unable to process the information to the extent of students that took handwritten notes. This also was evident in the notes the students took as those with laptops took notes that more so resembled a transcript of the professors lecture. On the other hand, students that handwrote their notes had notes that were more personalized. These studies while being informative and somewhat persuasive to anyone that takes typed notes didn’t exactly lead me to the conclusion that they should be banned from class until a third reason was introduced. The use of laptops while having the possibility to distract those using them also creates distractions for those students around them. Students using laptops that may themselves become distracted in another activity end up distracting other students from paying attention to the professor. This negative externality is where I see the only real reason to not permit the use of laptops in class. As adults students should have the ability to decide what’s best for them when it comes to learning however when one students distraction entices others to get distracted then it becomes reasonable for a professor to ban their use altogether.

  21. Olivia Mason January 26, 2018 at 3:03 pm #

    Technology, particularly computers (and laptops, have been rapidly increasing in both their scope and influence over the past 20 years. What began as tool that was relatively inaccessible (largely due to the price and lack of capabilities) has grown into something almost seamlessly integrated into everyday life.
    While my opinion is likely in the minority among students and most in the professional world, I have always been under the impression that laptops are only an aide to the “old-fashioned” pen-and-paper method, not a replacement to it. My personal note-taking and study habits have always been to use pen and paper in class as well as during my readings. Then, in order to further organize and clarify my notes, type them out.
    I have also personally experienced the distraction that comes from others improperly using their laptops during a college class. In my stats class last semester, the student in front of me always played online poker and I would frequently find myself watching his screen instead of listening to what my professor was lecturing on.
    College classes are far too expensive to allow the distraction that accompanies a laptop in the classroom. While students should be mature enough at this point to realize that they are negatively effecting other’s engagement in the class, it is safe to assume that most aren’t. Professors should take this into account and ban laptops from the classroom, in order to help eliminate distractions. Without any scientifically found benefits of utilizing laptops in the classroom, there is hardly a counterpoint to banning them (aside from the point raised by the author- those with disabilities who use laptops to make the classroom more accessible).
    The argument could be raised that college students are legal adults and can utilize their property in any way they choose, particularly when it comes to how they wish to participate in class. However this can be compare to rights and freedoms as outlined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In Canada, you can only claim your right so long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of someone else. For example, people can only use the claim of “freedom of speech” so long as it doesn’t risk someone’s right to “safety and security”; this clause outlaws Hate speech and holds those accountable for their actions towards others. Using laptops in the classroom is similar to this (albeit less extreme) as one students right to use a laptop in class only goes so far as it doesn’t infringe on another students ability to participate in class. Using laptops in class has been scientifically shown to not only negatively affect the student using the laptop but those around them.
    I highly doubt that my personal opinion will ever become the new standard as technology’s influence and integration into human lives seems only to increase and shows no signs of slowing down or receding anytime soon.

  22. Grace Milagros Galuppo January 26, 2018 at 3:40 pm #

    Technology can be a wonderful asset for professors to utilize while they teach and lecture their students. Note that I specifically said professors. I think that students should limit the use of laptops and other devices during class due to their negative effects. Susan Dynarski, the author of “Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting”, an article posted by the New York Times says that she will not allow students to use their devices unless they have a disability. I agree with Dynarski’s claim that students who use laptops during class are distracting to others.
    In my senior year of high school, the board of education decided to distribute a Chromebook to each student from sixth to twelfth grade. I thought that the decision to give the Chromebooks sixth graders was irresponsible due to some students the lack of maturity. Additionally, students would often play games or online shop then engaging in class discussion. Personally, I get easily distracted when a person in front of me uses their laptop inappropriately during a lecture. Of course, I have used my school laptop to watch Netflix or check sales, but I have done it during my lunch break or times that were appropriate.
    Laptops do enhance the learning process for some students in the classroom, which is why I think laptops should not be completely banned. I think that laptops are useful for gathering information, however, too much time spend looking at a laptop screen could have negative effects. The study done at the United States Military Academy (West Point), where one class were banned from using electronics, the other where they could freely use their devices, and a third that could use tablets that were flat on their desks. The result of the study showed that the students in the classroom did substantially better than those allowed access to their electronic devices. West Point students need to earn a high GPA, a congressional letter, and the involvement of clubs and sports in high school. I have a brother in an ROTC program who looked into attending West Point and a friend who will be attending in the fall. Due to the effort and hard work students put into to attend West Point, it is obvious that they are not slackers. I gather that if this study were at another university the result of students who would do well would be devastatingly low.
    Although many students believe that note taking is more efficient when using a laptop, it is less valuable. Personally, I would rather use a pen and paper to take down notes than a laptop and type. I know that for me, I benefit from writing my notes out during a lecture and then rewriting them out later so that my notes are neat. Dynarski agrees and states in her article that students gain a better understanding from listening to lectures and condensing the material into notes. Overall, the evidence given in the article and my personal experience sway me to believe that laptops should be used when necessary in the classroom.

  23. Lucas Rodriguez January 26, 2018 at 4:03 pm #

    Amid our itinerant and evolving societies, technology has leaked its essence into modern day academic institutions by its rapid development throughout generations. From eras that are now considered archaic or ancient to that the contemporary world, we have inevitably immersed ourselves within a great and booming technological revolution- that has not only shaped our lives but our societies. Many colleges have implemented online systems that stand as the basis of assignment submission or test taking. With the universe at the hands of any individual that has access to a laptop or computer it seems rather ineffable to regard the use of technology in class as something destructive.
    Susan Dynarski, an economics professor at the University of Michigan, stands firm in regards to her disapproval of technology. She has adapted a classroom environment where the use of laptops is prohibited, as she encourages all her students to utilize a pen and pencil method for note taking during her lectures. Whilst using laptops in class, especially during lectures, students may get distracted by the many applications the internet may be used for rather than a single word document or typing format. With the entire world beyond the screen of the laptop user, it seems almost impossible for an individual to not wonder off into the depths of the online cyberspace. Studies from 2017 have directly shown that out of all the waking hours an individual holds, at least a fifth of these hours are spent on that individuals smartphone or technological device. When we then factor in the amount of hours an individual may be in class per day, assuming the three to four class range, one could conclude that it is inevitable that the activity the student may pursue on their smart devices could be translated to their laptops, especially during class time. With a branch of entertainment platforms available such as YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook, allowing students to access their laptops during class makes them vulnerable to distractions that fall beneath these categories especially since it could be installed in their laptops. It is arguable that using paper and a writing utensil may allow the student to actively engage their brains more by forcing them to recite each letter with their pens and organizing their notes in a manner acceptable to them. Writing notes by hand, as the author of the article has so heavily emphasized, will certainly be much slower and requires a different part of cognitive thinking. Since an individual may not have their laptops at their ease, handwriting makes the student first listen to the lecture, digest the material, and then summarize the lecture in their own words. So besides distractions that these laptop devices may proffer, it is rather palpable that there is a certain benefit students may receive by actually hand writing notes like they could have been doing in their previous academic institutions. But does one not factor in the individual himself? I strongly believe that a student could get distracted using any of the two note taking methods, whether by hand or by keyboard. Although a student may get distracted by the internet applications available on any laptop, that same student may allow himself to “zone out” or become distracted by any other external source that may surround him in class while using a note or pad. Rather than assuming that laptops will inevitably cause a deficiency to one’s personal academic intelligence or retention, we must first assume that certain methods for note taking work better for different students. The realm of the conscious mind could be just as dangerous as the realms of the internet, as it depends on the user of the interface to either branch out into different websites unrelated to the lecture or zone off in his or her mind. Personally, throughout my self-observations as a student I believe that using laptops to type notes has allowed me to benefit in many ways. While in a lecture, if an individual does not understand a certain term that is being used he could have the opportunity to learn its definition simply by exploring its meaning on the web. Not only does this limit interruptions this individual may experience by not understanding the word but it may also alleviate interruptions this student may cause by asking for clarification on the word to the class. Laptops additionally promote organization and pristine formatting of material. While typing notes from a lecture in class I have the ability to easily highlight or emphasize a certain word or phrase that stands as important, quickly formulate graphs using the tools that many word document applications may provide (which would be especially important in an economic course), and am able to prepare myself for my future which will indefinitely revolve around the use of technology. Especially in terms of a business environment, as our technology revolution seems to be only further igniting from the small fuse it had once been it will be almost elementary to consider the factor of future businesses and organizations adapting more sophisticated technological devices. In my future field of becoming a financial analyst computers and laptops are the primary means of analyzing and reporting on the different fluctuations of different stocks. By implementing laptops in many lecture heavy courses, a student may be able to not only enhance his rate at which he can type but additionally can become familiar with the many soft wares and online tools needed for easy research. Furthermore, note taking in class has allowed me to generate clearer meaning beyond the words the professor may simply speak, and has increased my overall academic intelligence in certain areas of my classes through my incessant opportunity to use the internet for materials I am either confused on or do not understand. If I did not have access to this privilege I would be encapsulated within the walls of simple lecture and would not be able to instantly enhance my knowledge amid the world of the internet.

  24. Lucas Notarianni January 26, 2018 at 4:10 pm #

    To begin with, I believe Professor Shannon is correct when stating that pen and paper is the best way to take notes, but I disagree that a ban on laptops should be enforced in the classroom. With my experience, she is correct in saying that typing on a document is mindless. Through my personal experience, my notes tend to be much longer, and harder to study from when using a laptop because I type everything the professor repeats instead of writing down shorter, more precise notes that are in my own words. I also find that there is more order to my notes on paper because I use various symbols and markings to indicate importance or different meanings in my notes. On the computer, I would have to change colors or add symbols, which are much more time consuming for me personally. The only benefit I find for using laptops that is unmatched to paper is to “look up unfamiliar concepts on the fly”. It can help understand an idea better than asking a question and pausing the lecture, but I feel that the negatives outweigh the positives.
    The issue I have with the ban on laptops is that it creates a conformity problem for learning. Many kids and young adults in society today are structured in many of their activities inside the classroom, and at home. If tests conclude that writing on paper is the best way to take notes, then the students should be presented with the facts, then let them decide whether or not to use laptops. People are different; some find typing to their likings, while others do not. Let the students experiment with trial and error on their own terms. For example, some students may be much faster at marking symbols on a document than I am. Another example would be if a student has very sloppy handwriting that they cannot read so well, then typing would be a more productive way of reading notes.
    With that being said, the common error I find from students in the classroom that I see with laptops are that they become very distracted. I usually see extra tabs open, and notifications popping up all over the screen. The worst I find is from Mac users because they have their text messages connected with their devices. The students need to have a lot of discipline to avoid every distraction and focus on the professor’s lecture. If they fail to focus, then it should be on them.
    The issue that arises now is the concept of “negative externality”. I believe Professor Shannon is right that students around the computer users should not have to deal with the same distractions. One way that Professor Shannon can allow students to use laptops, while not negatively affecting those around them is to have laptop users sit in the back of the classroom. From the back of the room, students will not be able to distract as easily from what is on their screens, allowing for a compromise.
    All in all, college students should have the choice on how and where they take notes. They are old enough to have the responsibly to make their own decisions whether or not it is positive to their grades as long as it does not negatively affect others around them.

    • John Mundia January 26, 2018 at 5:29 pm #

      For years I have heard the statement that handwritten notes are the most effective way to take notes. Throughout high school, I would always try to take notes in a notebook but I found this method to be only minimally effective. Personally, I found this skill to be effective in my math and science classes. These courses required for problems to be done by hand, because it was much more efficient that way. In other courses, I found that handwriting notes became much more difficult because of the volume and speed at which classes were moving. When I used to write notes, I would not be able to keep up with a teacher. When I came to college and was allowed to use a laptop for classes, I found that my notes were fuller and easier for me to understand. For example in English last semester, I was able to understand what was going on in the class and then put it in my own precise notes that I then was able to study from. I have found this skill of being able to internalize information and then type it into OneNote quickly is a much more effective way for me to learn. Instead of using paper and pen in my business law class to take notes, I use my laptop to take notes. I have found this method to be effective for me. I believe that people should have a choice and not be mandated either way.

      Despite that, I must respectfully disagree with the previous comment on the laptops having many distractions. I understand that notifications do come up quite often but I believe that it comes to a matter of discipline and focus. The ability to stay focused is important in all classes no matter the what is being used for notes. Laptops do bring some distractions for us as students in this technological age but I think when a person is interested in a topic or class the distractions are limited. Even when using paper and pen, often people will end up drawing and doodling on the edges of the paper. Distractions are always going to be present when in classes. The distractions can really only be limited by an individual and their ability to focus.

      Unlike most people, I believe that taking notes by hand is not efficient for myself. I have been able to keep myself focused and disciplined. I believe this can be true for many people like myself. It is also important that we do not generalize to all students who use laptops but rather judge them on a case by case basis.

  25. Matt Henry January 26, 2018 at 4:43 pm #

    This article contains an important message about focusing during class, but the idea that laptops are detracting from the learning experience is completely subjective. Even the conclusion highlights the “selection bias” that makes it impossible to measure this data. It is obvious that distractions come with using electronics during a lecture or meeting, and laptops are the perfect innovation to shield what is on the screen from the professor. Certain students will allow themselves to be distracted and they will suffer the consequences of not being engaged, but for students who care about their grades and active engagement in class, laptops are the perfect resource.
    I probably used less than twenty physical pieces of paper last semester because everything I do involves my laptop. I used to be a strictly pencil and paper person until I started utilizing Microsoft Office applications that improved my learning tremendously. I use OneNote during class and my notes are more organized than ever. It helps me in class because I can easily pick up where I left off and everything is accessible from the same location. There have been many scenarios where using a laptop has come in handy during class discussions because when something is referenced that I am not familiar, I have the resources to look up whatever I need. Take this business law course for example. I take notes of everything that was important in my case briefings and I keep open tabs that helped me to dissect valuable information as well. I am not a law expert and every five minutes I find myself looking something up to help me better understand the material. Sometimes the class discussions take an unexpected turn or something is being referenced that I do not understand so I need my laptop to search for information. In other classes as well, technology has only improved my personal learning experience.
    In high school, so many websites were blocked including social media, games, and anything that could be seen as a distraction to learning. That was in high school. Anyone going to college lectures or sitting in a business meeting should have some sense of maturity, and should be able to use technology responsibly. There are so many applications that enhance learning, but the overall consensus is that these machines are taking away from learning because students still think they are being forced to go to class and would rather browse Amazon than actually pay attention. It is a personal choice if people want this technology to benefit them, and professors should not hold students back who are using technology to expand their horizons.

  26. John Mundia January 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm #

    For years I have heard the statement that handwritten notes are the most effective way to take notes. Throughout high school, I would always try to take notes in a notebook but I found this method to be only minimally effective. Personally, I found this skill to be effective in my math and science classes. These courses required for problems to be done by hand, because it was much more efficient that way. In other courses, I found that handwriting notes became much more difficult because of the volume and speed at which classes were moving. When I used to write notes, I would not be able to keep up with a teacher. When I came to college and was allowed to use a laptop for classes, I found that my notes were fuller and easier for me to understand. For example in English last semester, I was able to understand what was going on in the class and then put it in my own precise notes that I then was able to study from. I have found this skill of being able to internalize information and then type it into OneNote quickly is a much more effective way for me to learn. Instead of using paper and pen in my business law class to take notes, I use my laptop to take notes. I have found this method to be effective for me. I believe that people should have a choice and not be mandated either way.

    Despite that, I must respectfully disagree with the previous comment on the laptops having many distractions. I understand that notifications do come up quite often but I believe that it comes to a matter of discipline and focus. The ability to stay focused is important in all classes no matter the what is being used for notes. Laptops do bring some distractions for us as students in this technological age but I think when a person is interested in a topic or class the distractions are limited. Even when using paper and pen, often people will end up drawing and doodling on the edges of the paper. Distractions are always going to be present when in classes. The distractions can really only be limited by an individual and their ability to focus.

    Unlike most people, I believe that taking notes by hand is not efficient for myself. I have been able to keep myself focused and disciplined. I believe this can be true for many people like myself. It is also important that we do not generalize to all students who use laptops but rather judge them on a case by case basis.

  27. Rayjohn Felicia January 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm #

    As a current undergraduate student, I have had experience with the issues of using technology during class. In society today, technology plays an integral part in our everyday lives. However, they do have its pitfalls. On the issues of using laptops in class, I do agree with this article. In my university, the moment you find out the professor allows you to use a laptop in class, many students take advantage of that policy. In many cases, most students use their laptops for personal purposes rather than using it to focus on the professor’s lecture. I can say that I am a guilty person as well. This has became so much of a problem that at the first day of tax class last semester, my professor gave my classmates and I, an article similar to this one stating the pros and cons of using a laptop in class and made us read it and decide how to go about writing notes in his class.
    The more I read this article, the more I compared it with my own usage, and the results explained in this article I am not surprised with. In classes where I take notes by writing, I feel that I do retain much of the information being taught in class. I feel that by writing carefully, I am able to think about what it is I’m writing and how to relate it back to what the professor is teaching. Whereas in classes that I use my laptop, when I type notes, I am usually very mindless into what I write. Also during classes, there are various points where I have to fight the temptation of checking my email or social media accounts, which can further distract me from the lectures.
    I feel the biggest impact for me from this article was the experiment conducted on cadets in the United States Military Academy. This service academy is known as being one of the most prestigious college in the United States. Students undergo some of the most intense training regimens to become future officers in the military while also receiving a very prestigious and challenging education. In this experiment, cadets underwent a series of tests where they compared the learning method using both laptops and pen and paper. In the results, cadets using paper and pen out perform the cadets using laptops, where many of the cadets proved to be distracted by using them as well. What this shows is that even for the most disciplined students, using laptops in lectures can prove to be a very distracting tool.

  28. Zachary Corby January 26, 2018 at 6:10 pm #

    The conversation about having laptops in meeting or in class is certainly one that does not have to happen. People should be allowed to use laptops in class if that is what they prefer to do. The article brings up a ton of research on how students retain a lot less information when they take notes on their laptops, or have a harder time paying attention. Not only that but the article went on to state how the people around the laptop are also very distracted. I do not understand the logic behind teachers banning the use of laptops in class like the author in the article has done. For one if students are paying to go to college, or if their parents are paying taxes for them to go to a public school they should have the freedom to take notes however they choose to. Students learn and retain information in very odd and specific ways. Kids learn in all different types of ways and not having laptops in class could limit a student’s ability to be successful in the class. Taking notes on a laptop also make it much easier to be organized. There is also opportunities to look up any words or laws for example on google to grasp a better understanding of the conversation at hand. In any college or high school, I believe that it is on the students to take care of their work however they see fit. It is not the teacher’s job to ban laptops because they may be a distraction to some students. At some point, students need to learn responsibility and how to be able to deal with distractions in life. Students have to earn their grades, and if they do that while playing solitaire on their laptops I am okay with that. Often times students just have a hard time focusing in class but study extremely well outside of the classroom. The world continues to grow more and more innovative each year, and using laptops in class is quickly becoming the norm. Letting students use their laptops in class actually gives them more practice with them and they can learn a lot of useful tools and programs that will help them in the future. Forcing kids to use pen and paper to take notes is delaying the inevitable and hurting students. Technology is only going to continue to grow and becoming more advanced. I personally believe and can make an argument for students not being allowed to use pen and paper and only use their laptops. I mean if the studies are showing that kids are having trouble interpreting their lectures when they type on laptops it would better suit them to learn how to interpret lectures while using technology. Students can produce more work and at much more efficient rates if they have laptops to work with. Eventually students need to learn how to live and use the technology we have to the best of their abilities if they want to be successful. Progress is not slowing down for anything or anyone. The more we encourage students to use technology the more innovation will come along with it and we can continue to move forward. It just makes more sense to let students use laptops and grow and evolve with them in classrooms rather than forcing students to go backward and use only pen and paper.

  29. Sebastien Jose Fortes January 26, 2018 at 6:47 pm #

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single student in possession of a good laptop must be in want of a good education. Students can apply their typing skills to take notes at a faster rate than by hand, and can look up concepts to incorporate into their papers, or at least their notes—by extension, they probably want to write less and learn more.

    However, as this article states, students also tend to perform more poorly when they use their laptops. Users fail to process the professor’s lecture, simply copying their words down. Distracted users also may distract other students. (I would know. I have a classmate who sits next to me in English. He keeps Reddit open during the lectures, and frankly, it annoys me, because I enjoy the class.)

    I feel as though the researchers cited in this article must also consider surveying the students to ask about their studying habits outside of the classroom. While I do agree that handwritten notes are better than typed notes, I don’t agree that the laptops themselves are the biggest problem. It mostly depends on the discipline of the user, combined with the substance of their notes and their comprehension.

    The best way to compromise laptop use in a classroom would be to use an extension called Hapara. My high school used it to monitor any distraction, disable certain extensions, and send messages to students during class. On the one hand, this would be a good compromise. On the other hand, it would be largely uncomfortable to be scrutinized for seventy-five minutes every Monday and Wednesday.

    Another compromise would be to record every lecture while taking notes. If any holes pop up, the student can listen to the recording and find the explanation.

    One suggestion I wish I could convince all my classmates to work with is to create a sort of “hive-mind” Google Doc. We could all take notes together in real time and annotate any unclear parts. The problem would be that we wouldn’t all be able to type at the same time, but if a designated typer were to take over, this could easily be rectified.

    There’s no law to enforce any method, but there should be some sort of requirement for speakers to warn listeners of the pitfalls of typing.

  30. Brianna A Avery January 26, 2018 at 7:02 pm #

    Today, technology is all around us. We have traded in old-school chalkboards for SmartBoards or projectors and beepers and payphones into Smart cells phones. With the rise of technology came the death of what came before it. Before laptops, students were taking notes using pen and paper, but now students have turned to their laptops. Computers are one of the best inventions ever made. Everything is at the touch of our hands. If we do not know how to spell a word or know a definition, we can always just Google it. The way most students take notes today is different as well. Instead of using a pen and paper more and more students are turning towards laptops to type their notes during class.
    In the article “Laptops Are Great. But Not During A Lecture or Meeting” by Susan Dynarski, she states she does not permit laptops during her lectures because it could be distracting. Later in the article, Dynarski acknowledges students who use their laptops during class tend to have the worse grades. Laptops could be helpful during lecture if used the right way, but some students do not. If a student is bored of hearing their professor speak or are more worried about that paper that is due in an hour it is easy for them to switch tabs and do something other than taking notes. One question on many students minds is, why should that affect all students when some of them are taking notes? Well, even though a student may not directly be doing something other than typing notes during class, if you see the person in front of you off-task you will be quickly distracted yourself. Also, many studies have shown people retain information better when handwriting their notes compared to students who type their notes.

    When I use to type my notes during lecture, I was guilty of minimizing my word document and going to the internet to look for the best discount on shoes. I thought it was terrific I didn’t get caught during lecture, but all I was doing was losing out on what I could have been learning and take away an incredible learning experience for the students who could see my screen. I have a ThinkPad Yoga Laptop, and so my laptop could easily be flipped backward and be written on like a notebook. The way I was able to change my bad habit of going off task during lectures, was physically handwriting my notes in tablet mode and ensuring my laptop was as bright as possible. By having my laptop bright during lecture, it prevented me from changing screens since now my professors could see my screen. I found a way to make my electronic device work for me instead of hinder my success and the success of my classmates. Even though this approach works for me, Dynarski adds a study conducted by the United States Military Academy that found students with electronic devices (tablet laid on desk or laptop) still performed worse than students who used pen and paper.
    Laptops do not have to be a bad thing it is all about how they’re used. College students are not kids anymore, and it should be their responsibility to learn how to use their devices responsibly. It helps when professors decide to ban electronic devices during their class as Dynarski has done (except for students with disabilities), but if a student is an electronic dependent person, I believe they will find a way to have some form of an electronic device during class. I agree with professors banning electronics during class because I know it is for the students own benefit.

  31. Alan Josefsek January 26, 2018 at 7:37 pm #

    The world of technology is ever changing at a pace so rapid it is unclear of what literal tomorrow holds. With that being said one of the greatest inventions known to the college students has to be laptops. How incredible is it that you can type up a document on the go and surf the internet from the comfort of well, anywhere that has Wi-Fi? In fact, all of the previous and future comments on this blog are more than likely written on a laptop. Despite the convenience of these devices, we must ask ourselves the potential consequences of using such devices. The article above states that the typical college student learns less when their portable computer is open and turned on than when closed. I do believe this to be true and even have seen this occur with fellow peers and myself. Amazon is so tempting when a professor is speaking about the effects of demand on inflation, however, I avoid this because of the disrespect it shows the professor. I tend to have my laptop open the majority of the class but nine times out of ten I am viewing information relating directly to the topic at hand instead of gazing into the never-ending slew of websites selling high yield merchandise. Think about it: The professor, no matter who it is, has taken THEIR time out of THEIR day to teach YOU. People should show more respect in my opinion. This applies to business as well. Meetings are perhaps the most important time to pay attention to the speaker as they relay valuable information to the team. However, I and many others find that important team members use their cell phones and laptops in a manner not relating to the business what so ever. This is extremely frustrating and makes one wonder if they should keep the culprits on the team or remove them. Many people have difficulty concentrating as it is and now with the availability of electronic devices, attention spans are sliced in half. While I believe laptops and other devices are beneficial to a learning or business environment, they must be used in moderation and put away or shut when essential information is being communicated through a live speaker.

  32. Caroline Jean Philippe January 26, 2018 at 7:37 pm #

    Laptops are convenient tools that help students to research with ease but they can also tarnish the learning environment. I personally feel that laptops are distracting and take away from the moral of the student learning experience. I find that students using laptops while I am in class to be distracting. It makes me feel like the learning atmosphere is not what it should be because the people using the laptops are usually doing something that has nothing to do with the class.
    Laptops can distract students and professionals because instead of paying attention to the important lesson or meeting people become lost in their laptops. “Negative externality” as said by Susan Dynarski does happen in a class room setting. Using laptops during a class session can show negligence to the Teachers who are trying to get everyone involved in the lesson and other students who are in class to learn. Most students could find themselves falling to the temptation of surfing the internet instead of paying attention in class which could harm their grade. Being fully engaged in a classroom can allow students to retain information more easily.
    Although laptops can deter from student engagement they should still be used at times because technology can help students research and can help students with learning disabilities achieve their full potential in a learning environment. Laptops like most technology help people to be connected with the world socially and in other academics ways.
    Studies have shown that students “who had used laptops had substantially worse understanding of the lecture, as measured by a standardized test, than those who did not” (Dynarski). Researchers at the University of California found that “because students can type faster than they can write, the lecturer’s words flowed right to the students’ typing fingers without stopping in their brains for substantive processing” (Dynarski). Writing down information helps people to retain information easier than typing on a laptop because while typing people do not really process information like they do while writing.
    Laptops should not be used in classrooms because they promote negative externality, take away from student engagement and tarnish students’ ability to reach their full potential in a class room setting.

  33. Moniqua Prince January 26, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

    I have thought about the use of laptops and their effects on students in a classroom setting. After having read the article, Laptops are Great. But not During a Lecture of Meeting., I have come to the conclusion that laptops, though resourceful, are very distracting. Based off my own experience I agree that laptops are very distracting in a class due to the fact that they are used ineffectively. Many times I have caught my eyes wandering to another students laptop as they shop for clothes or scroll through Facebook as I sit in a lecture. Though I wonder that if maybe the teacher were to approach teaching a different if laptops could be used more effectively and actually help students grow. You see, the reason why my eyes wander to another screen is due to the fact that the teacher is lecturing. Lectures cause me to fall asleep or lose attention because I am being talked at instead of being taught. If I were to be in a class that allowed laptops, but where the teacher did not lecture, I feel laptops would not distract the students as much. I mean that if I were in a class where I actually had to participate instead of take down notes, then my laptop should not be able to distract me due to the fact that I actually have to pay attention with full focus to my professor. I would then only really need the laptop to cross-check information or maybe type down a few notes or reminders about what I did in that class. In essence, although there are students who may “rebel” and use their laptops for other things, if a teacher is actually teaching and not lecturing then a student should not be distracted by their laptops. I wonder if the people who decided to study the effects of laptop usage in class decided to also study the way in which the professors or teachers actually taught their students. Yes, there are always the exceptions, but usage of laptops and how they distract students and cause low test performances, cannot just be judged on if a student used a laptop versus a pen and paper. There will always be other factors to judge also.

  34. Hedaya Freij January 26, 2018 at 10:44 pm #

    With the conventional use of technology is almost every profession, it comes as no surprise when writers present an opposing view. Backing up her claim with evidence from a study done by Princeton University and University of California, the author states that college students learn less for their lectures by using their laptops and has consequently banned laptops from her classroom. I can argue from a student’s perspective, however, that the typed notes are not the issue, but instead the study techniques are. It is noted that researchers hypothesis from the Princeton study that, after seeing students who were randomly assigned a laptop did comparably worse to those who were given pen and paper, students can type faster than they can write, resulting in a less concrete recollection of the material presented. However, I argue that many professors now request that students read and take notes on sections before the start of class. If a student were to have typed up notes of important definitions and ideas written and explained beforehand along with questions they may have on such, transcripts of a professors notes becomes a less pressing issue. That student would now be able to use class time to take note of any explanations made by the professor on terms they did not understand, to better understand the connections of those terms to bigger concepts, therefore reestablishing said terms and ideas into their memory. This method now counteracts the chances of a decreased retention, instead allows for a reinforcing of the notes that students take as they pay better attention to the meaning behind the professors words. I do acknowledge to the fact that laptops can indeed be distracting to students around the note-taker. With that, I would like to point out the fact that students on a college level should have a better understanding of the facts that they are adults in a new technologically growing world. If they are truly to survive and make a living in the world, they must adapt to the constant use of technology and instead of becoming distracted by it, use it to their advantage.

  35. Sapna Swayampakula January 27, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

    Laptops are definitely tools that are helpful for note taking in class, and they are indeed important, because it allows the student to search the web when they are unsure of certain topics. However, while it can be helpful, it can also be very distracting. I can definitely vouch for this, because not only have I seen it happen, but I have also been distracted a few times. It is hard not to scroll through Facebook once in a while, or shop on Amazon during a lecture that one has little interest in.
    If used in the proper way, laptops can be great resources, they are very vital and helpful. However, if misused, it can be as detrimental. I remember a professor telling me that when looking at the statistics of students with laptops versus students who wrote old-fashioned, he learnt that the ones on the device had lower marks. Not only did the students on the laptops get bad grades, but so did the kids around them. This isn’t appropriate, a person who is paying attention in class is distracted because someone else is making a choice to browse the web.
    Another reason laptops shouldn’t be used in class is because the students that are focusing, as simply typing what the professor is verbally saying. The information being taught is not being processed, it’s simply being heard and noted down. This is not effective, because that is not the point of the lecture. If it was, we could all received print-outs of the lecture and not appear to class itself. The main focus is that we listen, understand, and question ourselves. Did we understand the topic? Does this seem logical? These are the questions that we miss out on asking in class. These are questions a teacher can explain and go into depth. A computer can give the answer, but that’s about it. When distracted in class, the student loses the grasp of the topic at hand, and when is brought back to reality, they are lost and don’t know what happened in the one and a half hour lecture.

  36. Antonio Macolino January 30, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

    It is no secret that laptops are harmful to a student’s ability to learn. Every year it seems that more and more research is coming out explaining why laptops are detrimental to a student’s success in class. There are a few outliers however. Certain students do simply perform better with a laptop in class. As explained in the article, a laptop allows students to “download course readings, look up unfamiliar concepts on the fly and create an accurate, well-organized record of the lecture material.” All of these things are very good, but unfortunately only a select few students use their laptops in this way. I would have to agree with the article that laptops are a huge distraction in class and in some cases make it harder to learn.
    From personal experience, I have seen how distracting a laptop can be. In my first semester, I figured I would try something new and take notes on my computer and stay more organized. I soon found out that I spent more time distracting myself on random websites and with online than I would pay attention in class. This obviously negatively impacted my grade. Now, I force myself to take notes with pen and paper because I know that it will keep me focused in class. According to Scientific American, studies show that students actually retain more knowledge when writing with pen and paper than they do just typing information into a laptop.
    Aside from being distracted by your own laptop, other students’ laptops are very distracting as well. It can be hard to hear what your professor is saying sometimes when you have an entire room furiously typing and all you hear is the clanking of the keys. It is also a large distraction when laptops go off. For example if a student receives a notification or is watching a video and forgets to turn the volume off. One final big distraction is what is on other people’s screens. It can be hard to pay attention in class when the person sitting in front of you or behind you is playing a game or watching videos on their laptop. I often find myself becoming distracted by this and end up paying more attention to what they are watching than I am to what is being written on the board by my professor. For these reasons, I believe laptops should not be allowed in class.

  37. pasquale v January 31, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

    Technology has a strong grip on society today. Due to this fact, many students are bringing that technology into the classroom. Some use tablets but most use the laptop. Most teachers invite the use of laptops in class for it can ultimately help the student grasp the teachings in a more effective manner. That’s not in every case though and Susan Dynarski has realized that. Susan has banned the use of all forms of technology in her class and feels that her students will perform better if they work with a pencil and paper. This is a real unpopular form of teaching now a days. In today’s world everything is ran on technology and in the future even more day to day objectives will have a heavy presence of technology. It seems like we can’t escape technology. So why try and shelter students from it? Of course I understand that many students fail to have self-control and because of that teachers feel the need to limit classroom distractions, but I also see a huge dilemma with doing this. Teachers are now limiting the amount of recourses that student has to learn new material. The laptop is a tool for me. I use it to look up concepts un known to me. I do this so I don’t fall behind during a lecture. If I don’t have my laptop I will get lost during lectures and become even more distracted since I don’t know what my teacher is talking about. I feel a way to stop this dilemma is by becoming more disciplined with students when it comes to technology. I feel that yes, the laptop can be distracting, to someone who doesn’t want to be learning anyway. On the other hand, there are kids out there who depend on technology to grasp learning objectives and we can’t let them suffer because of other irresponsible students.
    The real issue here is focus, or the lack of focus in this case. Students need to realize the time and place to goof off on their laptop. The laptop in some places is a toy, but once you step foot in a classroom it becomes a much needed tool. This tool will allow you to reach a new world of knowledge. It can propel you from that B+ to an A. In order for that to happen though you need to stop getting distracted by it. Students everywhere need to focus their time on learning how to focus. Once they do this, teachers won’t need to worry about Johnny in the back row with his head buried in his laptop because they will have more trust in their students that they are focused on school when using technology.

  38. Joe Sada January 31, 2018 at 4:37 pm #

    In this generation, it is a rarity to go somewhere and not see someone on their electronic device; Especially when these particular people are part of the younger demographic. With that being said, the electronic devices follow us at all times even at the worst places, such as the classroom. Everyone knows that having a computer or a cellular device in class during a lecture is a bad idea, but it is still done time and time again. It is very hard to open your laptop and only focus on the lecture at hand for an hour plus when you have much more interesting things in front of you in such a quick amount of time. Even though these devices are not supposed to distract us, they do majority all the time. One can understand why the professors would like to ban all usage of devices in their classroom, but the way technology seems to be advancing and it being everywhere at all times, makes it extremely difficult to implement this desire. Most of us can simply agree that laptops, most of the time, affect our learning and the lecture at hand. It is just something about the fifteen-inch box in front of us that makes us say to ourselves “What can we do today!” Even if the person is trying to pay full attention to the lecture and not get distracted by anything is also extremely difficult because that laptop is in such a close proximity to the student, they cannot help themselves from glancing over and eventually steering away from the lecture for about a minute or two.
    Laptops do hold a valuable piece in the classroom just as the article states, but it is constantly overshadowed by the negative connotation when it comes to laptops. Laptops do make note taking a much easier process because it is difficult to write down all the words the professor says in that short period of time unlike the computer, where it takes maybe a couple of seconds to write a word. Studies do show that note taking with a pen and paper make ones grades better, but those notes on the computer can always be translated to notes on a pad. It is much harder now to not use a laptop in lectures when we are all so used to it and just come to class with a pen and paper and sit there and listen for an hour and a half. Some students like myself, will open up the lecture PowerPoint we are currently about to go over and listen fully to what the professor is saying and occasionally glance around the web. It is impossible to listen to someone talk consistently for ninety minutes. A minor break in between certain words will get one’s brain back on track and ready for the rest of the lecture.
    One can fully understand where the professors are coming from when they have a constant hatred or fear when it comes to electronic devices, but it is going to be nearly impossible to cut technology out of the classroom especially in this generation. Professors can say no devices in class, but somehow, someway, one will manage to enjoy their device while trying to listen to the certain lecture. Laptops will never be given a free pass when it comes to classroom usage. There will always be a back and forth with this argument and most likely students cannot fully give their approval to say they are 100% necessary in the classroom, but no student will ever turn down an opportunity to have their computer with them while listening and learning the lecture at hand.

  39. Luis F Gonzalez Jr January 31, 2018 at 5:12 pm #

    Laptops should be used during classes and should be regulated by the professor. I am a firm believer that good teachers are the teachers who can effectively explain the topic and control their class. They need to set the rules that regulate the student’s ability to learn and prevent distractions. BY doing so, they can make their job easier and maintain the class in order and improves the academic interaction and learning habitat. Having a laptop improves many aspects of the classroom and offers so much: vast free information, improves class discussions and interactions, makes the class more effective, and is eco-friendly. These are some of the benefits it offers but laptops can also be used for distracting purposes. This is when the Professor needs to adapt his abilities and regulate the usage of technology especially laptops. Laptop are very common among high school and university students and cannot be banned from the class. This is a tool for research and taking it away reduces the capacity of knowledge that could be absorbed by the student.
    Laptops give easy access to the internet which contains a wide range of stored information for research purpose. This is very helpful to students during class discussions, assignments, etc. It offers the opportunity to expand their minds beyond class material and connect the dots to the real world. This application is a game changer as it boosts the student’s comprehension of the topic. It also saves time during class as students are more knowledgeable of the subject and can contribute more effectively speeding the process and moving onto new material quicker. This is very important to professors because they follow a strict lesson plan and desire to accomplish it without having to simplify or shorten their lessons.
    Laptops offer another method of teaching through interactive teaching. Professors can apply programs and technological activities that could help students understand better.
    Another good reason to involve laptops into the classroom is because it transforms the class into an eco-friendly course. This is better for both the professor and student as everything is easier to organize through files in the computer. This eliminates the clutter for both and prevents any lost papers.
    Even though laptops are effective and very helpful in the classroom, it should be regulated. Many professors struggle with controlling the misusage of technology in the classroom. Professors sometimes amply silly and ineffective rules such as: turning off wi-fi, banning laptops, etc. This is not the way to go, they should apply rules that give them the upper hand such as: seat arrangements, and specifying times for usage. These are more effective and give the professor the easy access to monitor and control usage.

  40. John Whale January 31, 2018 at 8:37 pm #

    Laptops are getting out of control in everyday college lectures. Every day in classes students have their laptops out but are they listening or copying notes off PowerPoints that the teacher has provided. The answer is no, when students have their laptops open they are probably texting their friends off iMessage or surfing the web with stuff that has nothing to do with your class. It’s no surprising that evidence is being shown that students are learning less and less when they have their tablets or computers open. This is not a good thing at all because when you are learning less you are ultimately earning worse grades. Worse grades make everything worse for students and families. If you can just put your laptop down for an hour and a half, then you will be gaining more knowledge. Plus, will be using the money that your college courses costs more wisely.
    This could also go both ways though. The studies cannot ultimately be weighed correctly because some students use their laptops differently. Some students know how to multi task and some earn a lot better grades with their laptops opened in class. I feel like they should look more into the studies and pay attention to the details. Whether it be teachers marking down notes to see how their grades and using laptops correlate. Another way laptops could be more useful are for people who write very slowly. Sometimes people can type faster than they can write. Also, some students have very bad handwriting, so it’s a lot more organized and easier for them to understand.
    To conclude, students are getting more distracted while their neighbors are viewing their laptops. Being a negative externality is not a good thing at all. It is such a pollution to everyone around them. I think that it was a good idea that the military cadets had a trail class. I think more classes need to have trials and see if laptops should even be in the vicinity.

  41. Andrew Kuttin February 2, 2018 at 12:59 am #

    As time goes on, technology and learning will inevitably become more intertwined. A new piece of technology pops up every day in an effort to make a certain aspect of human life easier. Our smartphones have become a personal assistant, cars will soon be able to drive themselves and laptops provide students with a centralized place to manage all of their assignments and find an answer to any question that they may have. I cannot say that I am entirely on team “laptops are great” in the context of use in education. There is serious validity to the concern that digital note taking is not as effective as traditional pen and paper. I personally choose to take my notes on paper because I find that I learn better that way, and it is no coincidence. The New York Times article cites a study entitled “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking”. This study found that in trials where certain students were told to take notes on laptops and some on paper, the students given laptops copied the professor’s words verbatim at double the rate of those who took notes on paper. Here in lies my problem with digital note taking. It is too easy to transcribe things via text. As the article points out, on the contrary when notes are taken by hand the note taker needs to find ways to shorten the information so that their hand can keep up with the lecture. As a result, the note taker understands the information better since they are forced to put it into their own condensed words. In my personal academic experience, this is the biggest factor influencing my note taking methods. When I write things down I remember them better, it is as simple as that.
    While sitting in class I always have my notebook open for notes and my pen at the ready, but that does not mean that I do not use my laptop productively. Having efficient access to the internet during class is a tool that I constantly utilize and am beyond grateful for. The worry over laptops being too much of a distraction in class is valid. In almost every one of my classes I can find someone watching sports highlights or shopping on their laptops, and in some of my more boring lectures I have been guilty of being one of those people. Once again speaking from my own experience, the benefits far outweigh the concerns. I use my laptop to clarify anything I do not understand in a lecture, or to find reinforcement materials. In my favorite class BLAW2301, I would be at a loss without my laptop. I use it to find specific facts at a moment’s notice so that I can contribute to the class discussion and learn more from it.
    Ultimately, I am against any outright ban of laptops in the classroom. Technology is something that will not go away and pretending that we can ignore it is not beneficial to anyone. As the world changes, education should change too and it is up to individual students to use their new technological options for good and not evil. Certain tasks may be performed better with traditional methods, but once again, that is up to the individual to decide. There are very few real world jobs left where one can completely abstain from using laptops or another internet connected device. That is why the use of laptops in the classroom should not be discouraged. There are obvious pros and cons, but students must learn to discipline themselves into making the right choices with the distractions around them because those distractions will never go away.

  42. Michael K February 2, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

    I believe that laptops should be used in classes. A lot of people think that its a major distraction to the user and the people around them during a lecture. Which it can be but for a lot of people it can be very helpful. People with bad vision that can”t see the board from afar need to use their laptop so they can pull up the power points or whatever is going on in the class. it gives them a better view and easier to learn rather than hearing it from a far and writing down what you maybe hear. i also think its easier to type when some one is talking rather then writing it down on paper. professors talk way to quickly to write down exactly what they are saying and you end up missing an important part to the topic.
    This argument can go both ways. People say that the laptop can be a huge distraction not only to you but the people around them. if one person opens their laptop and say they go on social media. if another person sees someone do that they will feel obligated to open up social media. Next thing you know no one is paying attention and everyone is doing their own thing on their laptop and doing everything but learn.
    so yes i agree laptops and computers are some what of a distraction in the class room but ideally in this day in age technology is the movement of the century so many more people are going to be using electronics rather then the old fashion way with pen and paper.

  43. Sophia Fadgen February 2, 2018 at 2:11 pm #

    Over the past several decades, the advancement in technology has caused a major change in the way many everyday tasks are operated. In today’s society, it is more common than not, to choose an electronic, designed to simplify tasks, rather than do everything the “old fashioned way”. Electronic devices have especially caused a debate in classrooms. For example, Susan Dynarski, a Professor, has chosen the unpopular route of banning all electronic devices during her lecture sessions. Although she does understand that despite her opinion, electronic devices such as laptops, can serve as a way of absorbing more information during a lecture because of a student’s ability to “download course readings, look up unfamiliar concepts on the fly and create an accurate, well-organized record of the lecture material” (2017, para. 3). This information is not enough to persuade Dynarski and other Professors, to retract their bans on electronic devices in the classroom. Dynarski goes on to provide examples and reasoning as to why she believes electronic devices should be banned, including examples of laptops causing a “distraction from learning, both for users and for those around them” (2017, para.4) and the idea that students using a laptop to take notes, allows them to take note of the material exactly as it is being presented rather than processing and condensing the information as one using pen and paper would have to do (2017, para. 8).
    Although Dynarski and professors alike spark a good argument, there is just not enough factual information to be provided. Electronic devices should not be banned from classrooms for several reasons. The first being that in a college setting most of the students “are legal adults who can serve in the armed forces, vote and own property” (2017, para. 9), therefore these students should be able to make the educated decision of whether or not to use electronic devices rather than paper and pen. It is explained by Dynarski that the studies done to prove or disprove the use of electronic devices in a college setting are somewhat invalid. This is because “a simple comparison of performance may confuse the effect of laptops with the characteristics of the students who choose to use them” (2017, para. 5). This circles back to the previous point that students should have the ability to choose whether or not they find it appropriate to use electronic devices in the classrooms, because they are old enough to know whether or not they can handle the possibility of distraction. Those that argue that electronic devices are a distraction to not only the student using the device, but also to those around him, known as “negative externality,” can be debunked by the simple fact that clicking a pen or doodling can equal cause a distraction to surrounding students (2017, para. 11).
    As many students of this generation have agreed, laptop and electronic use in the classroom, should be decided by the students themselves rather than the professor. This is because, despite the very few pieces of evidence against the use of electronic devices, the evidence is easily debunked by further evidence that the use of electronic devices isn’t harmful for all students learning. Ultimately, the use of electronic devices, is a personal choice that should hold students to a higher standard, because at the end of the day it is the student who will suffer should they be distracted during lectures.

  44. Alexis Candelora February 2, 2018 at 2:17 pm #

    The consequences of the use of laptops, cellphones, and other technologies in the classroom is difficult to assess, indeed. Laptop usage has undeniable pros and cons for students and learning. On one hand, laptops can be incredibly efficient for taking notes and quickly searching information, however, they can be undeniably distracting to even the most excelling students. It is just as easy to search for pertinent information, as it is to keep up with the latest celebrity gossip or check one’s social media accounts. These distrations pile up and result in less classroom focus and concentration. Thus, leading to poorer grades as well as being disrespectful towards the professor giving the lecture.
    Although the article mentions not all students abuse the power and technology of their laptops the same ways in the classroom, it is undeniably a disrupting and distracting factor in learning environments. Addittionally, it can be counterproductive for teaching. As students have the ability to look up information at the tips of their fingers, it does not compel them to actually learn the information the search for, rather, they look it up and remember it for a brief amount of time until they forget it again. This is completely different from have the information learned and stored away in memory for future use. Without the laptops, many students may not know the answers to in-class questions or understand basic class material. This is detrimental to learning throughout any course.
    The use of laptops and various other technologies should thus be limited within classrooms. By limiting the availability of search engines such as google, students will be more focused in class and have a better, personal understanding of course material. This would be beneficial to all students in the long run and would require students to give professors full, respectful attention. While some may still argue, not all students abuse the power of technology in classrooms for personal distractions, the truth and statistics show an alarmingly high number do. The decision to remove the majority of laptops from classrooms, therefore, would be for the greater good of the student body.

  45. Lauren Woodward February 2, 2018 at 3:18 pm #

    As years go by and technology use is more frequent, the idea of technology in the classroom becomes apparent. However, as studies have shown, technology has been proven to actually decrease productivity and learning in the classroom. There are many pros and cons to using laptops and tablets when learning, in which I disagree that laptops should be banned. Having a laptop while in class essentially allows the world at your fingertips, where a better understanding of the material can be achieved. Any question a student has can be explained in a quicker and more efficient way by them simply “Googling” it. As for the argument that technology is a distraction; I do believe it can be. However, in high school and college, students should be given the responsibility to use or not use their devices to enhance their learning.
    We are told that when we get older, more and more responsibility will be put on us to act like an adult, and in my opinion, the use of technology falls under that. If me using a laptop prohibits my learning, then that issue is on me, not the class or teacher. At my old high school, every student was given a Google Chromebook during their freshman year, and by the time I graduated, not one class used notebooks or pens for its teaching. When using these laptops, I found my learning was enhanced in that I was able to collaboratively work with others outside of the classroom and have a better understanding of the material. Then again, technology issues and wifi crashes always led to a huge distraction to not only myself, but to the entire school system. In college, I find that the classes where technology is forbidden only makes understanding the material more difficult in that extra resources aren’t available at that given time.
    Although the use of a laptop can be extraordinary, I find myself to never take notes on one. I will agree with the author that writing notes via typing does not process in the human brain, and therefore I usually always take notes in a notebook. Also, technology still has errors, and if all notes were taken on a laptop, there is a very good chance they could be lost in the cloud. In addition to the work and participation in classes, I believe that students should also have the responsibility to work with laptops to their discretion. Technology is a powerful and amazing resources our generation has, and it should be up to the student whether this technology is an advantage or disadvantage to them.

  46. Nicholas Marinelli February 2, 2018 at 4:15 pm #

    The idea of using electronics in the classroom is a relatively new form of learning for myself. Throughout high school, phones were banned during school hours and laptops were not even suggested to be brought in; instead, we relied on the archaic forms of learning- textbooks, handwritten note-taking, and lectures. This “old-fashioned”- as some call it- style of learning works for many people that were raised that way. It develops certain skills and attributes, and enables the student to retain information quicker than typing letters on a keyboard. In my opinion, teachers have every right to decide whether laptops are allowed in the classrooms.
    Teachers may utilize the technology to enhance the learning atmosphere amongst the class, ultimately turning it into a tool. This idea is very important and quite different from simply allowing students to have it on their desks and freely use it for whatever they want, creating the problem of distractions. In the present day, college students are rarely seen without a device in their hand or screen at their fingertips. They are constantly using it for reading, social media, or of course, playing games. This is where the difficulty of allowing students to keep the laptop on their desk comes into play. If you have students that are bored easy- which happens- they will tend to log-on to Facebook or Twitter, or start shopping on Amazon within minutes of class starting. They are not only hurting themselves, but in fact they are creating a toxic atmosphere for students striving to succeed. The inclusion of the idea of “visual pollution” in the article is wholly an accurate and unfortunate description of some classrooms that have laptops on the desks. The eye of students around those that begin to surf the web will unfortunately stray to a screen that is playing Clash of Clans or a political rant on Facebook- creating a decline in retention of the professor. I have experienced this first hand in the classroom and do indeed find it annoying to see the person next to me watching a soccer game while a class is going on.
    To counteract the distractions, teachers can monitor what is on the screens, effectively banning some sites and applications. They can have students download a software that the teacher turns on to block these potential learning hazards, or have students join a classroom Wi-Fi that does the same. With all the advancements in technology, there are definitely ways to temporarily freeze it. Teachers can also place all the students with laptops in one section of the room to refrain from creating noise and visual distractions to those who prefer handwriting during lectures.
    For me personally, I prefer the use of the classical pen and paper for taking notes; I have developed a system of shorthand for taking notes that I can do at a fast pace. Without a doubt, typing is quite fast, however it impedes my retention of the material.

  47. Mathew Gonzalez February 2, 2018 at 4:17 pm #

    We live in a time of constantly upgrading technology. Whether it be a laptop, phone, calculator, it evolves and updates itself as we head towards a future full of innovation and adapting technology. As discussed from this article, students currently face in classrooms/lectures is the use of laptops having a negative impact on their grades. The use of laptop within class seem to not only impact the individual using the device, but also the surround students. Based on multiple studies from Princeton University, University of California, Los Angles, York University, McMaster University, and the United States Military Academy, participants in the study who were exposed to or used laptops/tablets to record notes and study in class demonstrated lower academic marks over the participants that were given pen and paper.
    In all of these studies, the participants are chosen at random to avoid “selection bias” meaning, for example, that dedicated students are more likely to get higher grades, or sustain their high marks, using laptops over distracted students who will use their laptops whenever their attention strays from the lecture. In the article “Using laptops in class harms academic performance, study warns” by Jack Grove, he states “research found that students who used laptops, typically in “laptop required” or “laptop optional” classes, scored between 0.27 and 0.38 grade points lower on a four-point grad point average scale than those who took notes using pen and paper.” Personally, using a laptop in class to take notes is easier than pen and paper because I can link pictures and hyperlinks to my notes to get a better understanding of the subject while using split-screen to have the PowerPoint on my laptop screen to follow along with the lecture. However, there are times that my attention averts from the lesson and my reaction would be to find something interesting on my laptop to ease my boredom. Although it was proven that individuals who were exposed/nearby to the laptop typically performed lower in their studies, I believe it should come down to the individual to make the choice on whether he/she is allowed to use their laptop to take notes in class.

  48. marcello bertuzzelli February 2, 2018 at 6:47 pm #

    I do feel that a ban on electronics in university and work place environments may be a bit irrational but it is impartial. Due to the many researches and surveys, it is not hard to agree that technology slows down the mental capacity when it comes to learning and retaining knowledge when being taught. However, these researches show that most often time it is a choice by the student and there are benefits that can be capitalized on by those who put in the effort. So to take away technology as a whole may be seen as biased and unfair to those who do utilize technology to improve and further their learning experiences.
    Coming to college it is almost impossible to survive without a computer, especially when the university gives you one as a part of coming to the school. Personally, that was one of my biggest adjustments. Other than the weather of course, coming from Florida. In high school on the other hand, yes, we were allowed tablets but I could not use it because most of my teachers would not allow it and because I myself would not allow it. I would get so distracted that I could not remember a single word from the lesson. This allowed me to participate in the research on my own. I realized the harm it brought without being told that by anyone else.
    It is much better for students to take hand written notes allowing them to retain more but in a fast paced setting such as a university or office meeting, it may be more beneficial to use a laptop to get more down and then take matters into your own hands by going back over what was copied. I stand in a position that supports hand written notes but a ban on electronics as a whole is outrageous.

  49. SK February 2, 2018 at 7:06 pm #

    Professor, Susan Dynaski, prefers to teach in a classroom void of laptops, tablets and all other electronics because she believes it hinders a student’s ability to learn. Some may argue her methodology is archaic and old-fashioned, however, Professor Dynaski’s reasoning is valid and proves to be correct. The experiments mentioned in the article validate how using laptops in a classroom setting is ineffective and leads to poor performance when compared to hand-written lecture notes. From my personal experience, technology in a college classroom leaves us tempted to turn to social media or browse the internet during times of boredom. We do have intentions to “take a break” from the mon-tone lectures for a couple of minutes, but the internet feeds in to out social and leisure need causing us to lose focus and miss concepts for a generous amount of time. Similarly, a student may argue distractions from technology are the same as “day dreaming.” As a rebuttal, technology has our minds jumping from one place to another quickly and allows us to lose sight of a task, whereas daydreaming is brief and easily recovered from. The chain reaction of utilizing technology in a classroom and causing our inadequate grades is not how our tuition fees should be utilized.
    Technology allows us to have a plethora of information on our hands, but does not necessarily allow us to retain most information. Handwritten notes allow us to process them in our minds, thus helping us remember the information. Psychologist, Pam Mueller of Princeton University conducted an experiment to demonstrate how written notes are more valuable. A group of students were told to use laptops strictly for note-taking and another group was told to take hand written notes. After engaging in a short quiz, those who took hand written notes still performed batter than those who took notes on their laptops.
    Picking up a pen and paper does not completely dismiss the idea of technology in a classroom. In today’s day and age, technology is progressing rapidly and is difficult to escape from. As professor Dynaski mentioned, students can take pictures of their notes and easily convert it to an electronic form. If a student needs clarification on a concept and need immediate answers, the internet is a valuable resource. Although Professor Dynaski dismisses the idea of technology in a workplace as well, technology is highly praised when building new ideas or wanting concise answers, however, note-taking through electronics is ineffective and is not an advantage for students.
    Students with learning disabilities are objected to accommodations and learn differently than “non-disabled” students. Making an exception for these students can help them progress with the use of technology and learn more efficiently with it. Students without a learning disability abuse the use of electronics in a classroom which leads them to perform below average.

    Experimment conducted by Ms. Pam Mueller of Princeton University:

  50. Alyssa Heagy February 2, 2018 at 7:52 pm #

    I agree with this professor, some use of electronics in class can deteriorate form learning in class and lectures. I, as a student in college, have seen the use of electronics in distracting ways. During class I can view some other classmates’ laptop screens and they can have the PowerPoint slides up of the lecture but they also have other tabs and windows open that are distracting them, such as Facebook, Instagram, any other social media, YouTube, doing other assignments, making emails, and messaging friends. All this distracts students from actually learning the material being taught. Laptops can even sync with your phones now so that all your texts can be displayed on the screen and you can text them back through your laptop. ¬¬I also agree with the part that discusses why the students receive worse grades with taking notes on the laptop verses using paper and pen. I personally learn better with taking handwritten notes and it is because I actually am taking in the information and then writing it down. Some student though take in the material while typing notes too but some do just speedily type them out without taking in the material. I agree with this professor and that laptops should not be taken lightly in class and they should be somewhat banned, excluding those students that actually need to use them.
    I do not agree with the statement about banning them in workplace meetings. In the workplace laptops should be used only for the purpose of the meeting and used professionally. At college you pay to be there; at work you are being paid to be there. At college if someone uses their laptop as a distraction when bored that is that person’s problem that they didn’t learn the material and they are just wasting their own money. At the workplace if a person uses their laptop as a distraction they are putting their job on the line and possible losing out on making money not only for them but their company. I believe that a person in the work place was not hired to be using their laptop as a distraction n but to use them for meeting purposes.

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