Northern Iowan

Allowing computers in classrooms

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Opinion columnist Brenna Wolfe discusses the benefits of allowing computers and other electronic devices in the classroom to improve student learning.

Opinion columnist Brenna Wolfe discusses the benefits of allowing computers and other electronic devices in the classroom to improve student learning.

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Opinion columnist Brenna Wolfe discusses the benefits of allowing computers and other electronic devices in the classroom to improve student learning.

BRENNA WOLFE, Opinion Columnist

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Computers and other electronic devices should be allowed in college classrooms.

Why? Well, first: laptops save paper. When students type notes, they save paper and trees. Let’s go greener!

Secondly, in 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published that more than 50 percent of current jobs require some degree of technology skills, and they predicted that it would increase to 77 percent in the next decade.

That means that most UNI graduates will be using laptops and electronics in their career.

Isn’t college about preparing us for the “real world?”

Well, at most jobs, our bosses won’t be banning laptops in order to keep us from distractions.

They will expect us to know how to use electronics in a professional setting. Therefore, classroom laptop bans are not preparing us for the workforce.  

The biggest reason I get upset when I hear “no laptops” on syllabus day is because my notes are so better when they are typed.

It’s easier for me to take notes on a laptop. I can copy and paste if we revisit a topic. I can look back at older notes without distracting others. I can search through my documents for keywords to study better.

Typed notes are neater and more legible than my sloppy handwritten notes.

It is also quicker to type notes. I miss information when I have to write because professors go through their lectures so quickly that my hands cannot keep up. I spend a lot of days writing papers, so naturally my hands are faster at typing.  

Another reason to allow laptops in the classroom is that the internet is a great source for students.

I have been in classes where I did not understand a concept, and a quick Google search gives me a greater comprehension of the context and lecture.

In addition, the internet can clear up confusion. If I misheard the professor, I can look up a date or the correct spelling of a name in less than 20 seconds.

The last reason that laptops should be allowed in classrooms is that students are responsible for their own learning. If someone uses their laptop for Facebook during class, that’s on them.

Students need to take charge of their education and make mistakes like that in order to be ready for the workforce. And guess what? If a student doesn’t want to pay attention, they won’t — with or without a laptop.

The laptop ban furthers a pattern of infantilizing college students, most of whom are between the ages of 18 and 22.

We can vote, drive and go to war. We are adults; we can make decisions for ourselves, and we are in charge of our learning.

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Allowing computers in classrooms