Last Thursday, my professor asked me to put my laptop away. I didn’t. Was I disobedient? Yes. I didn’t intentionally try to be disrespectful, I just didn’t want to comply—I had my reason.
As two students continued to share to the class what they read, she asked me a second time to put away my device. She tried to explain that students who use laptops in the classroom are unable to completely focus on the lesson. I slightly disagree. If only she knew that the screen of my laptop showed an electronic copy of the text and notes typed from the lecture.
Professors want to promote teaching through technology, but disapprove of students who take advantage of the same concept in the classroom. Instructors use Blackboard, MathLab, Accounting Lab, E-Blasts through FAMmail and other annoying ways of reminding students homework is due three different times throughout the week. Not to mention distance-learning courses offered by the university where all assignments and quizzes are online.
When I use my laptop in the classroom, it’s not because I am an obsessed twitter user who has to constantly update about from the time I use to the bathroom to the next a new Nip Tuck show comes on. I take my tech-savvy note taking skills very seriously.
This is college, not high school.
Students are not told how to study or required to turn in quarterly reports to their parents in college. If a student wants to use a laptop in class, they should be able to. So out of respect, I eventually
closed my laptop.
But professors, just remember when you clutter our inboxes with updates of what to bring to class and when to take the next online class, just remember I will be sitting in your class taking notes and reading my online e-textbook using the same means of communication you do.
Facebook will pop up every now and then, but I’m sure with an influx of faculty members on the social networking site, the same may go for you.
Erica Butler for the Editorial Board.