Today’s technological advances are ever-changing our world, making life “easier” and more convenient. Tasks that once may have taken hours of notes, reading and organizing the many pages of documents, can now literally be accomplished in minutes with today’s portable computers. Most would agree that in our learning institutions laptops have become an essential tool in the success of students. Where this agreement usually ends is on the question of the use of laptops while in the classroom.
On the one hand some would argue that the use of laptops allow students to research information on the fly, and to take notes, having them neatly organized and even saved to a central database to make them easily accessible by any internet connected computer at any location. On the other hand, some say laptops lead to unnecessary interruptions and disturb the instructors and students alike. My own view is that laptops disrupt the class in many ways and should not be allowed in the classrooms during instruction.
First of all, while in class or lecture, the constant clicking of the keys can prevent the instructor from being heard, especially when there is more than one or two keyboards clicking away. Also, the brief seconds that your mind lends to focus on the operation of computing could possibly the moment that a student misses key information. And there is a disadvantage to not giving your undivided attention to an instructor’s lesson, on a larger scale this becomes an obstacle for McLemore 2 effective learning.
As noted in an article, Laptops in Class: A Professional Virus by Maureen A. Howard: Our brains just aren’t designed to do multiple tasks simultaneously and do them well. Admittedly, I can agree that laptops provide many advantages for students including consolidating and organizing multiple subjects. But as I stated before, the operation of laptops in class can be a distraction, and at which point does that distraction become too much to be allowed?
Having laptops in class brings up the issue of browsing the internet, playing games, communicating, or the great many other things that one could do, other than following along with the class instruction. Furthermore there is a potential for theft and damage to students property, which could also lead to students arguing and possible physical altercations. All of which impede the progress of learning in the classroom environment.
In addition, one should also consider that the traditional method of taking notes by hand and later transferring those notes to a laptop also gives the student the opportunity to go over that information once again. This process helps students commit the information into long term memory. In conclusion, I believe that the negative aspect of using personal laptops in the classroom environment far outweighs the positive reasons to have them, and thus laptops should not be allowed in the classroom during instruction.