Warning: Technological error


A student is clearly more interested in texting than a lecture. Gilbert Cisneros/UVU Review

Internet and cell phone use in the classroom is distracting students from learning in the classroom. Teachers are making rules against using technology in the classroom until students learn to control themselves.

A laptop is an educational tool that can be used to either enhance students learning within the classroom or be abused and impair learning.

In high schools and junior high schools, with restriction, anyone can use a computer or have a laptop in class. Any media website that could become a distraction to students learning is blocked. This helps students concentrate on their classes, lectures, homework and so forth. The usage of cell phones is also prohibited in order to create a more concentrated learning environment.

In college, students are generally allowed freedom of technology in the classroom. Anyone can be in class with a laptop and check Facebook, send updates on Twitter and watch a YouTube video. At first there seems to be no harm, just a little entertainment during class, right?

But where is the self-control? Professors spend a tremendous amount of time preparing lessons and lectures to benefit students so they can succeed. Is it fair when students’ focus is in a completely different dimension?

Students generally use their laptops in class to escape the lecture hall and entertain themselves. They can be in class, receiving participation credit and maintaining their perfect attendance without mentally being there.

Sophomore Matt Taylor said, “Technology in the classroom is not only a distraction for the teachers, but for the students as well. When I’m in class with a laptop permitted, instead of paying attention, I always find myself wandering to Facebook or YouTube to satisfy my needs for the hour.”

Because many students have no self-control with these technologies, some professors have had to put a stop to it. On the first day of class some state that the use of laptops and cell phones are not permitted and students will have to make do without them for 50 minutes. Other professors will shut off the wireless connection in their classroom so students can only use their laptops for taking notes. By doing this, students can engage themselves in class more by taking notes, asking questions and simply participating, which positively improves grades.

Although it’s obvious that technology is a benefit, it’s also obvious that uncontrolled, it has little to no positive effect in the classroom. Even though it may just be one student on their laptop, it’s the ripple effect of that student’s windows distracting whoever sits behind or near them.

So even if some professors do allow technology in the classroom, challenge yourself not to bring a laptop or cell phone. See how much more you can get out of the class and how your grades can improve. Technology in college is really just impairing everyone’s potential at success and ability to learn.

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