Technology in the Classroom … Holds Enormous Potential

September 1, 2011 Op-Eds, Opinion

Starting last year, Rollins has promoted “going green” in an effort to become a more eco-friendly campus. The changes made thus far have not only benefited the environment, but have also benefited the campus as a whole. By introducing more ways to recycle, removing pesticides and increasing the campus’ sustainability, Rollins has impacted the aura of the campus in a positive way. While there have been numerous positive changes to the campus, why haven’t some of these changes been introduced in the classrooms?

As school begins for the fall semester, first-years eagerly adapt to their newly found freedoms as the upperclassmen warmly greet each other after a long summer break. As a first-year, I brought my laptop with me to my classes hoping to do my part in saving the environment by taking notes electronically rather than wasting paper. As professors handed out their syllabi, they informed classes that laptops were not allowed unless instructed otherwise. Their refusal to let us use laptops was shocking! If Rollins is promoting this green attitude, then why are professors telling us to take notes with paper?

Within the last few years, social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have become predominantly used by students. While these websites are a great way to remain in contact with friends and colleagues, they can also be harmful when important assignments are pushed aside in favor of their use. Teachers and professors around the world have reported that Facebook and other social media websites have been used during class hours and taken time away from their lectures.

While there is not a general consensus that websites like these are the primary cause of many professors’ denial of laptop use in class, it is a highly probable reason. On the other hand, some professors simply want to keep the old school charm of writing by hand, while others believe the clicking of the keys to be a distraction.

Regardless of the reason, some students struggle when forced to take notes by hand. While it is understandable that Facebook and clicking keys can be a distraction, they should not cause the removal of laptops from the classroom. By allowing technology to be used during class, students can take notes more quickly and expand their notes written by hand. Not only will it benefit students, but it will also benefit the environment as paper usage curtails and more and more students adapt to computerized note-taking. As a student, I understand the distractions that may develop from the use of technology in a classroom; however, overall, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

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