Tech in the lecture hall

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There used to be a time when all you needed when you arrived to class was a notebook, pen and your textbook.

Those days have gone the way of the dinosaur. Nowadays, you would be considered lucky if you don’t sit behind some student surfing Buzzfeed, tweeting, or check out his or her significant other’s Facebook.

Technology, in the form of laptops, tablets and smartphones, has taken over our classroom desks and our attention. My question is: should we be allowed to have these in class? And my initial reaction is: yes!

My main argument for why technology should be allowed is that it can be a great supplement for learning.

Have you ever had a term or phrase thrown around in class that you had no clue about? Instead of slowing down the momentum of the class, one can do a quick Google search of the term for some additional research.

We are lucky enough to live in this information age where these resources are readily available.

Using tech during school also depends on the type of class you’re in. If you even look down for a second in an algebra class you can miss an integral step in the problem solving process. If you’re in a philosophy class, it still is important to be engaged in the material being spoken about.

Yet, if you have your laptop and want to look up a fact for a counter-argument you’re free to do so. This enhances you and your peers’ educational takeaway.

Professors should be looking into implementing technology and social media into their classrooms rather than turning their nose up to it.

Take UVU’s mandatory Ethics and Values course. With a lecture hall of a hundred or more, the professor can easily gain input by giving the class a unique Twitter hashtag to tweet their impressions.

The professor can project the responses to have an open discussion about that input. This would help those who are not usual responders by giving them a forum to be heard.

The strongest argument against having tech in class is that it only acts as a distraction. No doubt it is. Not only for the one using it, but their peers around them.

Distractions aren’t just common in the classroom but everywhere else, including the workplace. College is a place to develop habits of efficiency that we can carry into our career.

Being capable of coping with others around us is essential for workplace happiness. To deal with these distractions, one can simply move out of eyesight of the screen to give full attention to the instructor, easy as that.

We are adults, right? Although we, our parents, scholarships, grants or whatever it may be is paying for us to obtain a coveted diploma, that doesn’t mean we should be coerced into how to attend class.

This also means that we would be “adult” enough to make those decisions that will better our life, even if it means putting our phones away for fifty minutes.

From my experience at UVU, most teachers allow technology use, which I appreciate. Yet, we are abusing that privilege too much. How does the professor feel when he or she sees eyes glued on our screens rather than watching them giving the prepared lecture?

Yes, they’re collecting their paycheck anyways, but we aren’t giving them the amount of respect they deserve.

Technology is a beautiful thing. But let’s try not to take advantage of the time we are living in and the ones who are giving us the knowledge that we will be taking into our chosen field.