Classrooms should embrace technology

While students used to worry their battery life would not last an entire class period, now professors are restricting the very use of laptops in class. Every new school year brings a brigade of lectures to transcribe and students rely heavily on their typing speed to capture the entirety of instruction. However, in four of my five classes this year, professors have forbidden laptops in class, even to go so far as to physically shut students’ screens.

Unfortunately for today’s students, nothing is so heavily advertised as a necessity on every collegiate checklist as the laptop computer. There is even a category of laptops titled “Netbooks,” which promote classroom portability with their reduced weight and size. More importantly, laptops in class increase students’ note-taking efficiency. College Confidential, the leading college-bound community on the web, is flooded with posts of how a laptop in class increases a student’s note-taking efficiency.

So, why can students not bring it to class to take notes? Perhaps professors believe that students bring laptops to class only to surf the internet or find other distractions. As an advertising major, my professors frequently use PowerPoint or incorporate an online component in the classroom, such as Compass or YouTube. With such a reliance on technology and computers in my field of study, it appears contradictory to educate students in an array of technologies while simultaneously restricting their ability to use computers in the classroom.

Small class sizes emphasize more personal teaching styles. Large lectures, which can include 500 students, limit the interaction between the professor and students. Especially in large classrooms, perhaps access to technology should be allowed to both parties. Putting aside this apparent hypocrisy, ultimately if assignments are completed, papers submitted and courses passed, why must classroom tools be restricted to paper and pen?

Eric Flesch,

senior in Media