Computers in the classroom Distraction or asset?

With constant development in technology, the ownership of laptop computers among students at Utah Valley University is growing in popularity.

The use of laptops in the classroom is growing as well, and the question of whether students tend to use them for educational or personal purposes is open for debate.

According to Wilson Hansen, a freshman at UVU, “The laptop serves as more than just an access point to worldwide knowledge, it also enables the student to enhance the classroom experience by, in a way, removing the walls of the classroom and turning a sit and stare session into a real learning experience.”

Hansen claims to use his laptop for educational purposes while in class.

On the other end of the spectrum, Amanda Wardle, a senior, admits to using her laptop in class, but never for class work. However, she said that her computer is definitely an asset to her education.

“I have long breaks between classes and my laptop allows me to do my homework wherever I am,” Wardle said. “It makes classwork more convenient and provides many instant resources.”

Regardless of the purpose of laptop use in the classroom, Scott Carrier, a professor in the communications department, is opposed. According to him, the majority of students using their computers in class are not using them for schoolwork.

“I think it’s rude,” Carrier said. “I have to be their parent and tell them not to be so rude.”

On the occasion that a student is studying a computer screen instead of his lecture, Carrier said he catches a glimpse of it only to discover the REI catalogue as the topic of interest to that student.

Carrier describes the student’s reaction at being caught using their laptop for personal reasons as feeling guilty. He said they will initially attempt to cover whatever non-class related topic they may be studying.

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