Education in the United States: is it Normal in American Colleges to Use Laptops in Classes?

TECHNOLOGY AS A HELPFUL TOOL REQUIRES DISCIPLINE

by Contributor

Image credit: Pixabay

(Nov. 5, 2019) — Firstly, laptops in classes is one of the greatest improvements technology brought into education. Notes are taken more easily, and reading and researching on a topic being taught in class is made easier for students to understand right at the moment it is being taught. Students go with the trend of laptop typing because it makes academics easier for them. In fact Google-Powered laptops being provided for students make note-taking easier and doing assignments on Google Classroom is also one of the most fun experiences a student can have with his/her computer.

Moreover, there is a controversial question about the normalcy of a student using a computer in American colleges and its answer is right here in this article. Obviously, it is normal and it is acceptable but it requires a little firmness and discipline on the part of the lecturer or teacher to students who might want to misuse this great opportunity. Using a computer in class makes note-taking easier, as said before, and also it saves time on the part of the lecturer. For example: When a lecturer sends the next class’s note to the mail of all his/her students, coming to class would just be to explain the note and students would have read the note before the class. The class would be quite interesting because lots of questions on their mind on the topic would have been highlighted on their various laptops and when the lecturer explains that part, they raise their hand to ask questions which makes learning easy and fast.

Furthermore, taking notes by hand can be time-consuming and stressful on a student’s hands. When learners have laptops, they type the note directly into a document and as we all know, electronic note-taking is flexible and faster. One of the key advantages of typing notes into a personal laptop is the fact that they can back up notes unlike paper notes which can get lost anytime and can’t be seen again. Notes can be accessed at any time or place since a student’s laptop is portable.

Continuing the answer to this question, laptops allow students to use a college essay writing service that makes the writing process such easier. Learners can now easily develop write-ups and articles by themselves using different essay-builders that have flooded the internet nowadays, thereby increasing their intellectuals by exposing them to different methods of essay writing. In addition, learners who are writers, poets, article-builders and others find it very easy to build beautiful write-ups. When they are allowed to bring their computers to class, they would have the best opportunity to show their lecturers what they have built at home, corrections would be made and improvements would surface.

In addition, when a computer takes notes for the student, it gets rid of carrying heavy luggage. The stress of coming to school with heavy luggage of notebooks is one of the major problems as to why learners get to class worn out, thereby reducing their capacity to assimilate. However, when a laptop takes notes for them, the luggage of books disappears and it becomes an advantage for them. So asking questions about whether it is normal or not normal should not be asked at all because we are supposed to look at the vast number of advantages rather than the insignificant number of disadvantages of bringing laptops to classrooms.

Defending this article against critics would trigger the nullification of some disadvantages of bringing laptops to college classrooms. One of the main disadvantages of bringing computers to college classrooms is the fact that technology is a distraction. Instead of laptops taking notes for students, it could be turned to doing their work for them. However, come to think of it, the lecturer then has more supervision to do. So to curb this disadvantage, lecturers are advised to stay at the back of the class to provide notes, which gives him/her the opportunity to know the students who have been carried away by technology.

Furthermore, in conjunction to laptops taking notes for learners, it also provides a game for them to play. Having known this, orientations should be given to students at the end of every week to make them see laptops as an advanced way of learning instead of a chance for them to play games. The issue of playing games in class when a lecture is going on can also be stopped depending on the strictness and class control the lecturer has. That is when computers are to be allowed in college classrooms along with competent lecturers, which means lecturers who have been trained on how to control and orient the class from been distracted with the technology in front of them.

More so, when computers are used to help learners, there is a fear that all assignments would be copied online and pasted. Looking at this from this angle, answers that are copied are also read by the students before pasting, so instead of their stressing their brain to create, they accumulate more knowledge. Confusing answers they see online increase their curiosity, thereby prompting them to search more and more. Through their searching, they gain more knowledge and understand better how to research.

To sum up, it should be said that it is perfectly normal to use laptops in classes and there is a need to buttress the answer in two parts. The first part is from the lecturer’s point of view, that laptops in class improve the rate at which they can explain topics to students. Since all students have these notes as quickly as possible on their laptops because typing is far faster than handwriting, there is sufficient time for explanation. The second part is the benefits to students whereby the stress of hand-writing decreases and they save more energy for their brain to assimilate the information being taught.

One Response to "Education in the United States: is it Normal in American Colleges to Use Laptops in Classes?"

  1. Cort Wrotnowski   Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 10:40 AM

    I once had a surprisingly acrimonious argument with my wife over the following question. If you were to write about a subject three different ways, by hand, old fashioned typewriter, and a computer, would your writing come out the same way? Would you say the same things, make points the same way? As one who writes a lot, I knew the answer is no the writing would be different in each case. She disagreed and vehemently.

    The late great American novelist, Henry Miller wrote an essay on this point, and he also concluded your writing is affected by the means of writing.

    Also, there is considerable research showing that we learn better via hand writing than by typing into a computer. Comparative tests show that those who write by hand remember, more, understand the basic ideas more deeply, think more strategically and end up getting higher scores. The other surprise is that writing improves both fine motor control in the hand, as well as coordination. Some strange thing happens where the cognitive and the physical are integrated. I think artists would understand this very well.

    But, noooooo, “information technology” is supposed to be the future. It took over 20 years to realize the long promised productivity gains expected in the 1980s. Maybe over an even longer period of time other advances will push these gains into new realms, but for now, writing makes you smarter, typing does not.

    There is also research showing that your ability to process information from a computer screen is significantly slower than processing it from a book. One claim was a 30% reduction in reading speed from the computer screen.

    laptops are a tool. They have their place. I need to point out that with my TRS-100 (the first true laptop computer from 1985) I sat there taking notes in class. I know the drill. But they have their limits. Companies have sought to overcome these limits in various ways, but I think they are being way oversold.

    Another part of the problem is the different ways in which information needs to be organized. Well, I have my ways of organizing information. I am constantly having to shift directions in terms of what I need to know, how I need to incorporate the information, the type of research I need to do. Each source is organized differently. This is just a different version of the same basic bugaboo that plagues database “technology”. There is still no reasonable way to integrate two databases with different data structures.

    Anyway, the computer revolution is still young.

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