Syllabus week just ended and I noticed something new this semester among all professors at my university: They do not allow the use of computers in their classes. This was shocking to me at first (and it still is), but as I received syllabus after syllabus I became more confused and angry than anything else.
In college, it is basically mandatory that you have a personal computer of some kind, as it is once you enter the workplace. We are required to have internet access to do all homework assignments and are pretty much screwed if we do not check our emails at least five times a day.
So why ban them from classes? There have been studies that prove writing your notes helps you remember better than typing. This was a reason I heard from a couple professors. To that, I have a few things to say. I, for one, have a Surface where I can use a stylus to write notes directly on the screen. I am very environmentally friendly and I use absolutely no paper. I also can organize all of my notes this way, access them from different devices, and share them with my peers. Apparently, my professors hate the environment.
Secondly, it is sometimes physically impossible to move your hand as quickly as some of the professors are speaking and typing is a much quicker alternative. If you miss something you are screwed because we all know the professor isn’t going to repeat it.
I’m also in a major that requires a lot of designing, social media and writing (typing). So once again I find myself asking “why am I required to have this device for my classes and then not be able to use it when I want?”
Some professors claim that computers are a distraction for yourself and those around you. This is an understandable reason, right? However, this is not high school. I am paying you to teach me. If I want to waste my money and scroll on Facebook instead of listen, then that is my decision. You are still providing your service and I am still paying. And for my poor neighbors that are getting distracted, there are plenty of distractions in the world...get used to it. I have sat next to so many disruptive people in classes over the years and by now I either tune them out or move seats. It is as simple as that.
What is more distracting than a laptop in class is when the person next to you hasn’t showered. Now that is a rule I could get on board with. Nothing is worse than sitting next to someone who smells bad.
If you agree that we should be able to use our laptops in class, give this a share and maybe our professors will see it (we all know they are on their computers right now anyways)!