Technology in the classroom – Does it help?

TeenTechRecently, schools all over California have started issuing laptops or tablets to students as teaching tools to take notes in class and do homework. Are such devices actually beneficial or detrimental to learning? There are arguments for both sides of the discussion, but in my opinion, the daily use of technology for individual students in the classroom is not very helpful to them.

While I agree that it is important to have access to computers to supplement learning and do assignments, I believe such technology is not necessary in the confines of a classroom. It has been shown that students who type out their notes usually take longer and more comprehensive notes because they can get down information faster than those who handwrite their notes. While this seems like it would be beneficial, studies show that students who write notes on paper are required to summarize and make connections while writing so they can get all the information down. This makes them much more likely to retain and understand information than those who just copy down a lecture verbatim.

Another downside to technology during class time is the likelihood of distraction. When a student is encountered with the choice of either listening to and taking notes on a long, perhaps tedious lecture or secretly playing games on their tablet, they are likely to choose the latter. Even without any intention to do so, students can easily lose track of what they’re supposed to be doing when they have such easy access to so many distractions.

However, if it is necessary for school to implement technology use in class, it’s important to have regulations to moderate and deter inappropriate use in the classroom so students can still have an acceptable learning environment. While technology is obviously an inherent part of the modern world and learning how to use it is necessary, having students use their laptops and tablets during class (not including classes devoted to learning about the use of technology) is more harmful than helpful.

Manasi Maheshwari

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