It’s no secret that technology is taking over the 21st century and has been embraced by educators everywhere, but does it have a place in the classroom? Many professors and students at Wittenberg are excited about the opportunities it can bring; however, some are deeply concerned that the complications and drawbacks will outweigh the benefits.
More often than not, when students are using a laptop during class, they are using it for something unrelated to what is going on. They’re scrolling through Facebook, answering emails and shopping online. Not only is this distracting the student on the computer, but it is also distracting the students around them. No matter how hard you try, if someone sitting close to you is surfing the web, it causes people to disengage with what is going on around them.
“I have never been the type of person to use technology in class. My brain understands things better when I focus on one thing at a time,” Beau Brewer, ‘19, said. “Not to mention how rude and disrespectful it is; you’re pretty much ignoring everything the professor is saying.”
By allowing the use of technology during class, it gives students the opportunity to access information that can supplement their learning experience. It can give students a chance to have a say in what they learn in class. Imagine if a professor is talking about something and a student is able to raise their hand and pull up a video that could help add to the conversation and build a better understanding. However, if you plan in advance, then it can eliminate the need to disconnect from the class to search for the video.
“I love being able to use technology in the classroom; the experience wouldn’t be the same without it,” Casey Miller, ‘19, said. “If we’re talking about something I don’t understand, then I can google it and keep up with the conversation in class. One time, the entire class was having a hard time understanding something and I found a clip online that helped clarify things for everyone.”
Having access to any information you could possibly need at the tap of your finger is good, but class time shouldn’t be used for finding other content that might be interesting or relevant. The great thing about the internet is it allows you to continue the conversation outside the class room by using discussion forums. Students can still find content that will benefit the class without having to take time away from the professor.
“Having a laptop in class is a blessing and a curse at the same time,” Tyler Pearson, ‘19, said. “It allows me to multitask and be more productive during class, but sometimes that causes me to miss out on something important because my mind was elsewhere.”
It’s important that we use technology to our advantage and adapt to living in a digital world. However, it shouldn’t be used in the classroom, unless it can be used to expand the learning experience. Having it available at all times will distract the students and cause them to disconnect from the class; missing an opportunity to