Technology in the Classroom

New York Times

Jessica Kennedy, Staff Writer|

Technology causes many changes in our lives, so why not introduce upgraded    technology into classrooms? Many professors declare their courses are set in “topless” classrooms, as a play on the word laptop. This means there is a strict ban on phones and computers while students are in class. But if our lives exist through technology outside of the classroom, it makes sense for our education to be technological as well. 

A big argument against having computers in the classroom is the distraction that comes with having the World Wide Web at your fingertips while a professor with a doctorate is trying to teach a course. I admit I have been guilty once or twice of online shopping in a dull lecture and have seen similar instances on my classmates’ screens. I have also witnessed some classmates watch Netflix or a YouTube video during class thanks to subtitles.

However, more often than not, I find myself looking up the meanings of certain words or phrases said by a professor or classmate, so I do not have to disrupt the class to settle my confusion. To be able to quickly look up a date, character name, or complex word without having to wait to be called on or risk sounding silly in front of my peers is something I appreciate about my laptop. My messy handwriting is also thankful for laptops in classrooms because I can take notes quickly without risking illegible writing or a misspelling of something.

Computers in classrooms are also more beneficial than not because of how easy and cheap it is to pull up a PDF or eBook. Instead of wasting three cents per page of my limited printing money to print out 60+ pages of Audre Lorde poems to reference in class, I could’ve easily brought up the file on my computer, if they were allowed in the class. It is also significantly cheaper to buy an eBook than to buy a physical copy of it. 

On Amazon, M.T. Anderson’s book, “Feed, “ is $9 for a paperback. The Kindle book is only a little over $4. For half the price of a paperback students could read the same novel online, if only computers were allowed in the class. Spending $9 on a book may not seem like much, but when you’re on a student budget and need $200 worth of books per semester as an English major, any cheap alternative is a lifesaver.

Although there are many professors who now allow technological devices in their classrooms, there are still a great number who don’t. No matter what, the students who constantly browse the internet during class will most likely continue their habits. But, if the majority of students want a way to save money and better their educations, professors should change their views on technology in their classrooms.

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