The war on technology has arrived at UT as many professors are banning the use of laptops in their classrooms. Laptops and tablets are the norm in a modern classroom setting — many textbooks are offered online and some students use these forms of technology to take notes. The old pen and paper are a part of history, and it should stay there. Prohibiting technology is one more way of controlling students instead of letting them learn how to be adults.
While the case for banning laptops from class is a valid one, teachers aren’t taking into consideration that many students would not benefit from this restriction. Course materials are usually more affordable as e-texts, not to mention that typing can be more efficient than writing. However, if students choose not to take notes and shop online instead, they should have the freedom to do so.
“There’s a difference between high school and college; in college we’re adults,” said Melanie Stamps, an English senior in the UTeach department program. “If I choose to not pay attention and use my laptop in class, then that’s my adult decision.”
Non-disruptive behavior such as browsing Facebook during lecture should not be policed by instructors because it does not affect the learning process for others. The only person affected is the one who chooses to tune out a 50-minute lecture. College students are old enough to vote, go to war, work jobs that help with tuition and decide for themselves if they want to pay attention in class — and face the consequences if they choose not to.
If instructors want the upper hand in this technology debacle, they should ditch the antiquated lecture model and make their classes more interactive. In-class activities could have students posting results or group work online. Lectures should include visual aids such as a PowerPoint because 65% of students are visual learners and could benefit from interactive slideshows everyone can watch together.
College is a learning experience and not always a good one. You learn things the hard way; For example, spending your government lecture on Twitter could tank your GPA. But that’s what it’s all about.
Suazo is a communication studies senior from Honduras. Follow her on Twitter @giselle_suazo.