From phones to laptops to iPads, it seems like just about every college student always has some form of technology on them. Whether taking notes in class or frantically writing a paper in the library the night it is due, technology is a crucial part of the lives of students today. 

Despite how much students use technology, however, some professors are not as keen on having it in the classroom. They have explicit policies in their syllabi that ban any form of technology during their class – phones, laptops, smartwatches and all. If a student uses any kind of technology during class without instruction, they may lose participation points or face some kind of similar consequence. Each professor has their own reasons for not allowing technology in the classroom; however, as technology continues to grow at a rapid rate, they need to come to the realization that technology can be and is a helpful aid for many students in the classroom. 

One of the issues with banning technology in the classroom is that it forces some students to change how they make notes. For students who prefer to use a laptop or iPad to take notes rather than pen and paper, this policy, while not the end of the world, can be quite a nuisance. If they are allowed to use this technology for notetaking in some classes but not others, they either have to take extra time to transfer their pen and paper notes onto their laptop or iPad or have two separate systems for their notes. 

By the time students get to college, they know what note-taking systems do and do not work for them. For some, pen and paper is best. For others, a laptop or iPad works better. Taking notes online allows students to keep them all in a single document. They can “control f” and find a keyword that they are looking for. They can back up their notes so they can access them from multiple devices. They do not have to worry about flipping a page to hard or spilling a drink and damaging their only set of notes. 

Students should be allowed to dictate what system of notetaking works best for them and apply it in the classroom. When a professor bans technology in the classroom, it takes this freedom away from students and requires them to use a system that may not work for them. Some professors argue that they do not allow students to take notes online because studies have shown that students retain information better when they write rather than type. Students who use iPads and other tablets to take notes, however, are still able to write notes by hand. The only difference here is that the notes are stored on the tablet rather than on paper.  

It seems that most of the time, professors who ban technology are concerned that students will use their laptops to shop online or scroll through social media, causing them to miss important class content. While this is an understandable concern, a student who does this rather than paying attention during class is only hurting themself. Students pay a lot for tuition – whether or not they choose to pay attention during the classes they are paying for is up to them. If they miss class content because they are preoccupied with something other than notes on their screen, they are hurting themselves, not the professor or other students around them. 

As technology continues to develop, professors need to understand that more and more students will likely transition to using it in the classroom for notetaking purposes. College students know what works for them, therefore, they should have the freedom to choose the manner in which they take notes. While professors understandably want their students to pay attention in class, banning technology in the classroom may hurt more students than it helps. If professors are looking to create a learning environment that generates the most success for students, banning technology is not be the best way to go about it. 

Posted by Campus Carrier

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