The pen is mightier than the key
Call me old-fashioned, and you probably will, but I don’t see what’s wrong with taking notes using a notebook and a pen.
The only distractions you’ll find in a notebook are the doodles you put there yourself. A study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology found that doodling while listening to a boring lecture can help you pay attention better and remember more of what you heard.
With benefits like that, why would you forego pen and paper for taking notes on a laptop?
I taught a class last year as an associate instructor. I sat in the back of the lecture hall on Fridays and watched my students check baseball scores, shop online and play “Call of Duty,” all while pretending to take notes on what the professor was saying.
You, or your parents, are paying money so that you can be here. If you’re going to play video games during lecture, why even come to class?
Miriam J. Woods
The perfect time for stalking
I can attribute almost all of my zeal for technology in class to the laptop screen of the girl who sat in front of me last semester.
A few weeks into the class, I noticed “Jackie” spent the class time two days a week dutifully online stalking “Henry.” Over the course of the semester, I watched her flip between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tabs.
I learned a lot about ”Henry.”
I read over her shoulder in the iMessages she exchanged with her friend. Henry had broken up with her right when they got back to school — bummer!
I soon found myself caring deeply for both “Jackie” and “Henry.”
Would they ever get back together? Why had he broken up with her in the first place? Will Jackie love again?
I still think of these questions from time to time.
So yeah, maybe laptops didn’t help me learn the material laid out in my class, but they definitely taught me some valuable lessons about love and life.
Get your head out of your laptop and in the game
One thing I see students doing — and I’ve been guilty of it too — is watching live sports during class. Some people cannot bear the idea of missing their team play or the big game.
As a sports fan, I sympathize with these fans. However, this is the most distracting thing somebody can do on their computer while in class. There’s something about live sports though I simply cannot ignore.
The bottom line is this: don’t do this. The sports can wait. Wouldn’t you rather watch the game without any feeling of guilt?
Yes, lectures are inherently boring. But remember, you’re in these lectures for a reason. It is key that you pay attention — for your grade and for your future.
In my personal experience, I receive better grades in classes in which computers aren’t allowed. I appreciate professors who enforce a no laptops policy because it truly works.