Everybody’s doing it, so it must work . . . right? It’s logical to conclude that if everyone else is bringing a laptop to class, it must be faster and more efficient than traditional note-taking. But before you trade your paper notebook for a battery powered one, let’s look at both the good and the bad aspects of taking your laptop to class.
Ease, speed, flexibility
Some people’s handwriting is bad. I mean so very bad that they have trouble decoding it. So if you fall into this category of bad scribblers then taking notes on your laptop probably seems like the perfect solution.
With a laptop, you don’t have to struggle to understand what the professor was saying if you are able to quickly touch type them for later review. It’s also easier to organize your notes in a sensible, structured manner so that when the actual review time arrives you simply call up those files and begin.
Ed Tech in the classroom
Using technology, the possibilities of interaction, collaboration, and shared learning are unlimited. Students can participate in a live or offline discussion in an exclusive network, social network, or forum. Technology helps people come together to arrive at new ideas and solutions that individual study may not promote.
An apt learning tool for introverts
Apart from nurturing creativity and teamwork, using laptops in lectures also facilitates real-time participation by students who are less willing to participate by raising their hand. For introverted students, using technology to share their opinion is a priceless interactive learning opportunity.
As long as proper training and guidelines are in place to help students stay on track and not get distracted by the billions of distractions that technology comes with, then Ed Tech can significantly boost interaction and learning in the classroom. Which brings us to the dark side of using laptops in the classroom.
Distraction and Loss of Productivity
While technology has brought advancement to education with online classes and and collaboration, technology in the classroom also disrupts learning. When students are constantly bombarded with email alerts and chat notifications, it causes them to miss a lot of important information.
Even sitting near someone using a laptop could distract you. And, unlike handwriting which is silent, laptop sounds and keyboard clicks can also be distracting for people, especially when there’s a lecture room full of those devices and noises.
Ban the laptop or not?
Due to the fact that technology is still a new concept in the classroom, many professors feel reluctant to allow laptops in class, fearing that students won’t be paying attention.
So, where does that leave us? If you’re good at keyboarding, are organized, and are disciplined enough to avoid distractions, by all means do bring that laptop in class. Just keep an eye on how you use technology, to make sure that you’re getting the positive aspects of it, not being slowed down by the negative ones.
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