Laptops in the Classroom

Max Youtie TC's picture

Throughout my life in school the introduction and use of laptops in the classroom has changed dramatically. While I was in elementary and middle school, we had classes designed to specifically teach us how to use computers. When I started high school, I was allowed to use them during all of my classes. Now in college, certain teachers encourage them for note taking and others strictly ban them from the classroom entirely. 

Common arguments for the use of laptops include:

- Increase in speed and ease of note taking

- Facilitation of faculty-student interaction of material 

In contrast, many teachers believe that laptops:

- Allow students to slack of and disengage from class material

- Decrease the amount of information that students retain

This hotly debated issue has led to many studies and opinion pieces on the matter. Some of this research has shown that when used correctly, laptops can serve as a learning aid for students. This being based on evidence of increased interest in "fun" learning portals and informational tools. Most experimental evidence has actually pointed to laptops negative effects on student learning though. This is based on a decrease in "overall course performance" and "understanding of course material".

Questions:

Do you think laptops should be allowed in the classroom?

What are some additional benefits of the use of laptops?

What are some additional drawbacks?

What is your personal experience dealing with laptops in school?

Sources:

https://web.stanford.edu/class/linguist156/laptops.pdf

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/students-are-better-off-without-a-laptop-in-the-classroom/

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