Computers in the Classroom

Computers are everywhere in lecture halls these days. You look up from your notes, and the girl in front of you has the slides from the lecture up on her computer and is writing notes directly next to them (far superior to a three ring notebook); the guy three rows to the front has been writing emails since the projector turned on. Computers can be a great way to keep things organized and to make multitasking easy, but there might be a bigger toll than sore shoulders from carrying the macbook around on your back all day.

“’We really tried to make it pretty close to what actually happens in the lectures, we found that lo and behold, the students who multitasked performed much worse on the final test and those who were seated around peers who were multitasking also performed much worse on the final test,’ said Sana.

“‘So you might not be multitasking but if you have a clear view of someone else who is multitasking, your performance is still going to be impaired.’”

Seems like you can not only hurt your understanding of the lecture by taking notes on a screen, you’re gonna lower the grades of everyone around you too.

So should computers be allowed in classrooms? Yeah this study suggests they provide an easier outlet to multitask, but any college student already knows nothing says procrastination like wifi access. Is this really any reason to deny much more organized and legible notes?

If you want to know more, you can read the whole article here.

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