Laptops should be used intentionally

Sienna Darula

There is much to be said about the debate on whether or not laptops should be allowed in class, and there are fair arguments on both sides.

As someone who always writes notes on my computer, I dislike walking into a class and not being able to open my laptop. I understand that students, myself included, can get distracted texting on their computers, surfing the web or shopping online, but many students choose to use their computers to benefit their learning.

Students should be working on managing their attention spans and using computers as a tool without getting distracted by other applications.

According to the American Psychological Association, multi-tasking hinders productivity because it divides attention and causes people to perform tasks more slowly. In the case of paying attention in class, students can miss important information completely while trying to do something else on their computers.

Many students with laptops open in class are putting their attention elsewhere, whether it is homework for another class, surfing the web or even texting. As a result of the distractions caused by laptops, some professors are choosing to ban the use of laptops altogether.

Students are required to purchase textbooks for classes and complete homework assignments on their computers, which are essential school supplies nowadays. We spend hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars on buying laptops in preparation for college, and we deserve the right to use them. 

There are many students who cannot hand-write quickly and prefer to type their notes for efficiency, organization and legibility, as well as accessibility when away from hand-written notes. Typing notes can be quick and make it easier for students to correct their mistakes. 

Some students have disabilities that prevent them from being able to take notes by hand in fast-paced courses, and they may feel uncomfortable being the only one with a laptop open. As students, we need to pay attention responsibly to avoid losing privileges.

If someone is using a computer for something unrelated to class, it is obvious to those sitting behind them and often to the professor. It is completely fair for professors to ask students to pay attention or put away their laptops when they are not needed. 

Using a laptop for something not related to class is distracting to everyone who can see it. We need to act responsibly before more professors are forced to take away that privilege.

Ultimately, we all came here to learn, not to play games on our phones or browse the internet during class.

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